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Heat’s scrimmage aimed at raising funds for cancer research

udonis haslem heat

The Miami Heat held its annual Red, White, and Pink game on Monday night.

The game started a bit late due to Hassan Whiteside taking selfies with fans on the court, but more on that later.

Fans were able to see their team before the official start of the season, and most importantly, it allowed the Heat organization to pay tribute to breast cancer survivors and donate proceeds to the Miami Cancer Institute.

Everyone in attendance were supporters and breast cancer survivors sporting their pink gear, which included Udonis Haslem who talked about his mother Debra Haslem — who died of cancer in 2010 at age 53.

It’s very special for me, obviously. My mom passed away from cancer. … I’m not a man of pink, but I will wear pink tonight to show support and continue to show unity and strength as we fight this devastating disease.

They’re my heroes. People look up to us as basketball players and say, ‘You’re my hero.’ But to me, my mom was my hero. She was the strongest person I’ve ever met from fighting drug addiction, homelessness and fighting cancer. My mom was the strongest person I’ve met, so those kind of people are my heroes. Those are the people that inspire me.

There were quite a few surprise guest players on the opposite team and coach Erik Spoelstra was excited to give the details to the crowd.

All former Heat players were announced for the opposite team, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Luol Deng, Gerald Green, Amare Stoudemire, and Chris Bosh who isn’t able to play this season due to blood clot complications.

During and after the game, fans and breast cancer survivors were able to come to the court to mingle with the players, take pictures with them, and lots of hugs were given out in the process.

As Spoelstra reflects on the moment, he could not help but be appreciative of what has taken place.

We’ve tried to emphasize with our guys all the time that it can be more than just a game. But it’s an incredible platform for all of us to be in. We’re so fortunate to be in this profession, and this shines an incredible light. And we love it, to see the response of the survivors.

Next year, they’ll do it all over again.

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