By Alice Barbosa, sports writer and Árbitros NBA CEO
In this year’s NBA Summer League, NBA referees scheduled for the event show their support for seasoned teammate Tony Brown, diagnosed this year with pancreatic cancer.
Before matches, officials enter the court wearing a purple T-shirt, with one arm in a strong position, with the initials “TB”; on the back of the shirt, 6 Strong, which is Brown’s NBA number.
Some referees also wore the shirt in situations outside the four lines, as happened this break season for some professionals. In the photo below, five full-time NBA referees on vacation wear the campaign T-shirt – Lauren Holtkamp, Simone Jelks, Ashley Moyer-Gleich, Natalie Sago, and, in front, Jenna Schroeder.
The shirt is for sale on the NBA Referees Association website, and, as the page explains, the intent of marketing has many factors. “The NBRA family and community is committed to standing in solidarity as Tony continues to fight against his recent diagnosis. We hope to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, empower others to be proactive in their diagnosis or diagnosis of a loved one and continue support for our fellow ref, brother, and friend, Tony.”
PanCAN (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network) is the health organization involved in this campaign. Their mission is to “take bold action to improve the lives of everyone impacted by pancreatic cancer by advancing scientific research, building community, sharing knowledge, and advocating for patients.”