Athletes, community team up to support coach battling cancer

Keith Haske has coached at both Charlevoix and Traverse City Saint Francis, and his former players came together to raise money for his treatment.

A northern Michigan basketball coach was diagnosed with cancer in May, and on Sunday the community found a creative way to support him.

Keith Haske has coached at both Charlevoix and Traverse City Saint Francis, and his former players came together to play in an alumni game to raise money for his treatment.

â??We're here today to honor the man that has given so much to the community,â?? said event coordinator Elizabeth Shaw.

Haske coached basketball at Charlevoix for 13 years before moving to Traverse City in 2010 to take over for Saint Francis.

Although the two schools are known rivals, they put that aside Sunday for the man that has affected all of their lives.

â??Saint Francis and Charlevoix can put the rivalries aside for a little bit and just have some fun for coach,â?? said 2014 Saint Francis graduate Noah Phillips. â??This is really cool to see everyone come out here and support Coach, heâ??s touched so many peopleâ??s lives, it's really cool that we can give back to him.â??

Besides the big game, the event had food, music, and a silent auction, and all of the proceeds will go towards helping pay for Haske's medical bills.

â??The community support and his alumni player support has been outstanding and it's just a way for us to give back,â?? said Shaw.

Unlike during the season, the two schools played together.

â??The whole idea came united for one man,â?? said Shaw. â??It's been a theme all along, the teams are intermixed.â??

The game had referees, and they did keep score, but the results were not what mattered.

â??It means a lot, that this many people have been affected by my dad or care about him this much that they would do something like this,â?? said Haskeâ??s son, Tyler Haske.

After all the years of Haske encouraging his players, those players are now able to do the same for him.

â??I know he's going through a hard time, but he'll get through it, he'll be good, heâ??ll be good,â?? said Phillips.

For those who are interested in helping the Haske family with this difficult time, you can make donations by giving to the benefit account set up in his name at the Charlevoix State Bank.