New format showcases games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will air seven games in a new format on Sunday, Feb. 16 as part of the annual Play 4Kay women’s basketball initiative – in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with The V Foundation and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Also included in the initiative is a top-10 matchup between ACC rivals No. 9 Maryland at No. 3 Duke that will air on Monday, Feb. 17, as part of ESPN2’s Big Monday Presented by Bud Light series at 7 p.m. ET. In its eighth year, Play 4Kay is in memory of former NC State head coach Kay Yow, who lost her long, courageous battle with breast cancer.
The new Play 4Kay format will showcase two regionalized games within each of two ESPN2 telecast windows on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. During each window, the network will alternate between the two games to showcase the best action for viewers in the majority of the nation. In the home markets of the competing teams, ESPN2 will televise the game of local interest.
All games will be accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
- ESPN women’s basketball analyst Rebecca Lobo will join fellow analyst Kara Lawson and host Kevin Negandhi as part of the network’s studio coverage for the Play 4Kay initiative. In addition, the trio will be together in studio for Selection Monday and throughout the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.
- A feature highlighting Yow’s legacy as the fifth anniversary of her passing was January 24.
- “I Play 4” moments from players and coaches involved in Play 4Kay games.
- The 1 p.m. regionalized ESPN2 window will feature Oklahoma at No. 12 Oklahoma State in a Big 12 game and Wisconsin at No. 11 Penn State in Big Ten action.
- The 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 window will showcase No. 17 North Carolina at No. 10 NC State in an ACC matchup as well as SEC opponents No. 5 South Carolina at No. 19 LSU.
- An SEC tilt between No. 18 Kentucky at No. 8 Tennessee will tip at 1 p.m. and be part of the new ESPN Sunday package.
- No. 4 Louisville will travel to new American Athletic Conference opponent Memphis at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU, following an SEC matchup of Florida at Georgia at 1 p.m.
- Six Wooden Award Women’s Midseason Top 20 nominees will be playing on Sunday and Monday: Diamond DeShields (North Carolina); Maggie Lucas (Penn State); Theresa Plaisance (LSU); Shoni Schimmel (Louisville); Alyssa Thomas (Maryland) and Elizabeth Williams (Duke).
- Writer Mechelle Voepel will be onsite at the No. 17 North Carolina at No. 10 NC State game on Sunday and the No. 9 Maryland at No. 3 Duke contest Monday night.
- Voepel will have an in-depth feature on No. 5 South Carolina assistant coach Nikki McCray, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last month.
- A wrap up on Sunday’s coverage with the Quick Dish, including how the day’s games affect Charlie Creme’s Bracketology, espnW.com’s fifth-annual Frenzies and an awards-season tribute to honor the highlights of Sunday’s action.
- Online video segments associated with the Play 4Kay initiative.
- Join the conversation and follow on Twitter: @ESPN_WomenHoop; #Play4Kay.
Public Service Announcements
Play 4Kay public service announcements will run on ESPN networks and espnW.
ESPN Bottom Line
ESPN’s Bottom Line will promote the Kay Yow Cancer Fund during the ESPN2 Play 4Kay telecasts on Sunday and Monday with the graphic: “donate at www.Play4Kay.org”.
The color pink has become synonymous as the official color of the breast and women’s cancer brand to help express support for women afflicted with the disease. Throughout the telecasts, the viewer will be engaged through pink elements from the teams, along with their fans, who are sporting pink apparel and raising funds in support of women’s cancer research.
2014 Play 4Kay Schedule (Subject to change)
|Sun, Feb 16||1 p.m.||No. 18 Kentucky at No. 8 Tennessee
Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck
|Oklahoma at No. 12 Oklahoma State*
Tom Hart & Nell Fortner
|Wisconsin at No. 11 Penn State*
Adam Amin & Julianne Viani
|Florida at Georgia
Melissa Lee & Maria Taylor
|3:30 p.m.||No. 17 North Carolina at No. 10 NC State*
Joe Davis & Debbie Antonelli
|No. 6 South Carolina at No. 19 LSU*
Bob Picozzi & LaChina Robinson
|No. 4 Louisville at Memphis
Greg Gaston & Brooke Weisbrod
|Mon, Feb 17||7 p.m.||No. 9 Maryland at No. 3 Duke
Beth Mowins & Stephanie White
* – regionalized telecast
Kay Yow Legacy
Yow’s coaching career spanned more than 38 years, including 34 with NC State. She had a record of 737-344, which encompassed 20 NCAA championship bids, a Women’s Final Four appearance in 1998 and four ACC Tournament championships. She also coached the U.S. Olympic women’s team to a gold medal in 1988 and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the inaugural NC State Hall of Fame in October, 2012. Yow won the inaugural Jimmy V ESPY for Perseverance Award in 2007.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded on December 3, 2007 from the vision of the organization’s namesake Kay Yow, former NC State University head women’s basketball coach. Coach Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 before succumbing to the disease on January 24, 2009. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. Coach Yow believed strongly that coaches share not only a community, but should also share in a cause much larger than the game. To date, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has supported more than $2.83 million in women’s cancer research and related projects, and will award a $1 million research grant on Wednesday, Feb. 12, with an impact of $3.83 million in women’s cancer research in the Fund’s six-year history. For more information on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund or to make a donation, please visit www.Play4Kay.org.
About The V Foundation
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $115 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association promotes women’s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is the WBCA’s charity of choice. For more information on the WBCA, please visit www.wbca.org.