NEWS // Duke’s Nolan Smith Joins Teen Cancer America as Celebrity Sports Ambassador
Dec 14 2016
DURHAM, N.C. – Nolan Smith, former Duke Blue Devils basketball star and current special assistant under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, today announced he is joining the national non-profit Teen Cancer America (TCA) as a celebrity sports ambassador. Founded by rock ’n’ roll legends Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, TCA is dedicated to developing specialized facilities that address the age-specific clinical and psychosocial needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer.
Since launching in the U.S. in 2012, TCA has projects underway or in development with world-class cancer centers at UCLA, Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering (New York), Dana-Farber (Harvard), Yale, University of Chicago, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Moffitt (Tampa), Vanderbilt, Baylor and Case University. Partnerships with more than 50 hospitals around the country are in various stages of planning, including Duke Cancer Institute at Duke University Hospital and UNC Cancer Care at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill.
At the press conference held at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, Smith introduced “TCA Tuesday,” a social media and text campaign which calls on supporters to donate $5 in order to raise $1 million for TCA initiatives in 2017. He officially launched TCA Tuesday with a live tweet, calling on supporters to text NOLAN to 20222 to donate $5 or visit www.teencanceramerica.org/donate
for other donations. Smith, who has more than 87,000 Twitter followers (@ndotsmitty), will be supported in the campaign by Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB), which has over 800,000 followers, and The Who (@TheWho), with more than 500,000 followers worldwide.
As a high-scoring guard for Duke, Smith helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA Championship in his junior season. The following year, he was named a consensus first-team All-American and honored as ACC Player of the Year. As a TCA ambassador and one of the most popular players in ACC history, Smith will lead a variety of specific fundraising initiatives that will call on the fans of Duke, UNC and other universities to come together for teenagers and young adults fighting cancer.
One of the fundraising goals will benefit the “Nolan Smith AYA Cancer Leaders Workshop” during the 2017 AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) Cancer Conference in Atlanta, sponsoring 20 cancer care professionals from hospitals and community clinics for a training day at the international conference, which is being hosted in the U.S. for the first time. Smith will also work in partnership with Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, a major sponsor of TCA, to drive awareness of its corporate campaign, #LetMyLoveOpentheDoor, which serves to raise funds online and through branch locations in 18 states.
In addition to Smith, speakers at the press conference included:
- Sally Webb, CEO, The Special Event Company and founding board member, Teen Cancer America
- Jill Sullivan, MD, PhD – Fellow, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Cellular Therapy, AYAO Program team member, Duke Cancer Institute
- The Who frontman Roger Daltrey (via video)