On Friday, Feb. 13, the Manhattan College men’s basketball team will partner with the HEADstrong Foundation’s #ProjectGameday in an effort to raise awareness and funds to fight blood cancer, in honor of play-by-play broadcaster Christian Heimall. The Jaspers are slated to take on Iona College at 10 p.m. at Draddy Gymnasium, a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
The blueprints for the HEADstrong Foundation were conceptualized by Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori in 2006, while he underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which ultimately claimed his life. Today, Nick’s vision is being fulfilled through the relentless efforts of his family, athletes and supporters across the country uniting in the fight against blood cancers.
“We are excited to be able to help not only Christian but the entire HEADstrong Foundation in the universal fight against cancer,” said Manhattan College Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Noah D. LeFevre.
#ProjectGameday is HEADstrong’s newest fundraising campaign, supporting the essential programs and services offered by the non-profit organization to improve quality of life for cancer patients and their families. The online campaign empowers athletic teams and individuals alike to pledge their game and raise funds for the cause. Manhattan’s #ProjectGameday will help raise funds for HEADstrong and for Christian as he battles his illness. Click here to change the game for Christian and others affected by cancer.
“The HEADstrong Foundation has been shining a light on those battling cancer for the better part of a decade,” said Heimall. “The Colleluori family has been instrumental in improving the lives of countless patients and their families battling this terrible disease. I am so honored to be welcomed as part of their extended family and to help welcome Jasper Nation into that family as well.”
A merchandise tent will also be set up inside Draddy Gym for fans to purchase, as well donate to the foundation. Fans attending the game are encouraged to wear lime green, the official awareness color of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the HEADstrong Foundation.
Heimall, who is in his fourth year as the “Voice of the Jaspers,” was diagnosed the B-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment. A Hofstra University graduate, the 25-year-old has joined forces with HEADstrong to continue their mission of improving quality of life for patients battling cancers and their families.
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation and those affected by cancer we wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the Manhattan Jasper nation for rallying support for Christian and recognizing the importance of our cause,” said Cheryl Colleluori, HF President and Nick’s mother. “We find ourselves matched against the toughest opponent and we are on the front lines of this disease, working, supporting and easing the hardships of “Real People” like Christian Heimall. When we learned of his diagnosis, we immediately reached out to assure him that he was not alone and we are inspired by his positivity. He embodies many of the same characteristics of our Nick and we are thrilled to have him on our team. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to both Manhattan and Iona College for joining our fight against this disease.”
For more information on the Manhattan College Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:
For more information on the HEADstrong Foundation: