Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pink game has special meaning to Chambers

When Brittany Chambers takes the floor Saturday, it’ll be with a heavy heart.

The Kansas State guard has enjoyed a record-breaking senior season as she fights to get her team into the postseason, making Saturday’s home game against No. 24 Iowa State more important than ever.

This game, though, has another special meaning to Chambers, as well as all of the other women who will suit up at Bramlage Coliseum this weekend.

On Saturday the Wildcats (13-13, 4-10) try to snap a two-game losing skid, as they participate in the annual “Play 4 Kay” pink game — part of the national initiative to bring awareness to breast cancer. The first 4,000 fans will receive a free pink K-State t-shirt.

“It’s so great that we can go out there and fight and for a cause for women, something they can’t control,” said Chambers, who leads the Wildcats at 19.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. “It really puts things in perspective for us. We have the opportunity to go out there and play basketball and whatever we think we’re battling, it’s nothing compared to them. We’re very privileged and lucky to be doing what we’re doing.

“It’s a great game, being able to go out there playing for someone else, realizing it’s not always about you.”

The opportunity to wear the pink jersey in front of the pink-clad fans at Bramlage hits Chambers close to home because her aunt has fought breast cancer not just once, but twice.

“She’s like a second mom to me,” Chambers said of her godmother, Peggy Bushee. “I play this game for her.”

Peggy is in remission now, but she faces an equally challenging fight on another front, as she’s also battling multiple sclerosis.

“It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, but to have someone so close to me go through such a traumatic experience — something that a lot of people let throw them down — seeing her go through pain, even with the MS, something that’s not going to get better, she’s never let it get her down,” Chambers said.

And despite her limitations with MS and her fight to beat cancer, it hasn’t stopped Peggy from taking an active role in Chambers’ life.

“She means so much to me,” Chambers said. “We’re really close and she travels all around to watch me play every year. It’s not easy for her, but she does it. She’s been an unbelievable support for me, even while she’s battling all this.

“She always has a smile on her face, such an amazing person. She’s a big part of my life and I’m so blessed to have her in my life.”

Chambers will play Saturday’s game for her aunt, but also for the other aunts, mothers, grandmothers and sisters out there who also fight cancer everyday.

“It’s important for women to battle for other women, be inspirations for each other and be each other’s backbone and strength and to know that other people have their back,” Chambers said.

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