Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 | 1:45 p.m.
Mayor Oscar Goodman is planning to suit up to play for UNLV men's basketball Coach Lon Kruger — not on a basketball team, but on a cancer awareness and fundraising squad.
Goodman held a joint news conference Thursday with Kruger as part of a cancer fundraising effort called "Suits & Sneakers Corporate Challenge" in Las Vegas.
"People all over the community and the country will be wearing sneakers with their suits to raise awareness that cancer is a major health concern and that everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of the disease," Goodman said.
Goodman showed a gift from the coach — a shoe box with sneakers inside.
"Only Shaq's feet are bigger," Goodman said, getting laughs. "No, Shaq and Ronald McDonald. I'll be wearing these throughout the entire weekend, starting tomorrow with my suit."
The mayor told Kruger he still has another year of eligibility left from his college career.
"He ruined that whole dream with one question. He said 'Can you shoot?' And that was it," Goodman said. "So I'm gonna just go out there and raise money for the cancer society instead of dreaming that I could be playing for the coach."
Goodman also unveiled a proclamation at the event, designating Friday and Saturday as "Suits & Sneakers Days" in Las Vegas.
"We urge all citizens to put their sneakers on and get healthy," he said.
Kruger said that for the last 25 years, coaches across the country have been involved with the "Coaches vs. Cancer" fundraising effort.
"Suits and Sneakers this weekend is going to be the kickoff of an activity that can run through the end of March Madness in the next couple of months," Kruger said.
He said Las Vegas is a great community in terms of supporting charities. He said all of the proceeds raised will stay in Las Vegas and be used to increase awareness and research.
Melissa Aria, the American Cancer Society director of distinguished events, said the Suits and Sneakers Corporate Challenge will continue until the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic in May.
"People around the Las Vegas community can team up by lacing up their sneakers and hosting a 'Wear Your Sneakers to Work Day,'" she said.
By making a $5 donation, residents can get stickers promoting the event, she said.
To sign up for Team Kruger's Suits & Sneakers Corporate Challenge, call 891-9012 or visit coachkrugervscancer.com.
Residents can also make a donation to the Suits and Sneakers Campaign in honor or in memory of a loved one at a Buffalo Wild Wings, she said.
Goodman kicked off the fundraising part of the event by handing Aria a $5 donation.
"I wish it was more, but I had the Bears and the Jets," the mayor said. "If it had gone the other way, it would have been 10 times that."