The power of pink

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It's been close to 18 years since Donna Spoonhour was diagnosed with breast cancer, and on Sunday, for the third time, she attended the Pink Zone game with her family.

Spoonhour was one of 640 breast cancer survivors on the court at the Bryce Jordan Center at halftime to celebrate the 10th Annual Pink Zone game. Accompanied by her daughter, granddaughter and her granddaughter's friend, Spoonhour saw Penn State lose a close battle with Michigan, 91-87.

But regardless of the outcome of the game, Spoonhour was blown away by all the support aimed toward survivors. The day has become a great way for survivors to come out and enjoy themselves with friends and family, with events before and after the game that survivors can attend.

"It's such a nice thing for them to do, to honor us," Spoonhour said. "Everything, all the details, they make sure that you're taken care of and it's really sweet. It's very exciting. We love it and we always have a really good time."

Players share a similar sentiment toward the game. Senior Brianna Banks was playing in her first Pink Zone game, but raved about how much it means to her and the team.

"This is probably the best game of the season. If we make it to a championship game, I still would say this is the best game of the season because of what it means and who we get to play for," Banks said. "Even though we play for everybody everyday, today is a special day for survivors. It really means a lot to us that they all come out every year and cheer for us whether we win or lose."

With the 2016 Pink Zone game now in the books, head coach Coquese Washington and her team can look forward to continuing the tradition in years to come.

"When you look at everybody that's here, it's not just about Lady Lion basketball, it's about what it means to Centre County, what it means to the Penn State community, and having this community galvanizing and rallying around a cause," Washington said. "You just see and feel the Penn State spirit of giving back on this day. I think you feel that every Pink Zone game, and as it continues to grow it speaks volumes about Penn State University and who we are as a University and who we are as an athletic department."

No matter when the 2017 Pink Zone game will be played, there's no doubt that Washington and her team will have it circled on their calendar.

Editor's note: This story originally appeared on www.GoPSUsports.com, the official home of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. 

Last Updated January 18, 2016