TAMPA, Fla. – Charleston Southern women's basketball coach Fred Applin will be recognized Friday evening as a collegiate coach and cancer survivor at the 2019 Women's Final Four as part of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund's recognition of the Play4Kay National Free Throw Challenge.
The on-court ceremony will recognize current Division I coaches and staff members that are cancer survivors during the first semifinal game in Tampa, Fla., the site of the 2019 Final Four.
"I have been cancer free for six years. When the doctors told me that I had prostate cancer, they asked me if I needed a few minutes and I told him yes. I went to my car and prayed," Applin said. "I gave thanks to God because I had previously had a physical a year before coming to CSU, but because I was a new employee they required me to do a new physical. God gave me about thirty seconds to think about what just happened and to call my wife Cora Applin, my twin sister Marguerite Applin and my children."
Applin added, "Pastor Jon Davis, CSU's Campus Pastor, was just awesome during this time. God had already prepared me for this day because my dad and uncles whom had cancer would tell me to always get my yearly check-ups. I thank God for them."
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a foundation started by former North Carolina State head coach Kay Yow to raise awareness and money to defeat cancer and to improve and extend the lives of those battling with cancer. The Play4Kay Free Throw Challenge is a yearly event where college coaches challenge each other to make as many free throws as possible and donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund to help with the fight.
"Cancer is darkness. It tries to cover and hide any hope," said Jon Davis, CSU's campus pastor. "Watching Coach Applin's faith in Jesus destroy cancer's darkness was an inspiring moment for me as a Campus Pastor. Not only did Coach Applin stand strong and give God glory through Jesus the Son of God for the cancer, but also Coach Applin inspired many that even in the darkest moment God's power and light can break through. I praise the Lord for Coach Applin. If he had a weak moment I never saw it – I only saw Jesus!"
Coach Applin concluded, "The two verses that I leaned on during this time in my life were Psalms 121:1-2 – 'I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth' and Proverbs 3:5-6 – 'Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.'"