GREENSBORO — Northwest Guilford usually holds its Pink Out girls basketball game in late January or early February, but it will be played earlier this year for a good cause.
When the Vikings (3-0) play host to rival Northern Guilford (3-0) at 6 p.m. today, all proceeds will be donated to Coaches vs. Cancer in the name of Nighthawks coach Kim Furlough, who recently had surgery for a recurrence of breast cancer.
Northwest's first-year head coach, Haley Hackett, was Furlough's top assistant at Northern until she took over the Vikings program, and she played for Furlough at Southeast Guilford. Furlough had her surgery during Thanksgiving week and will not be able to coach Northern during the game, but she hopes to be back on the sideline in late January.
“I was very touched and honored that Haley would move their Pink game,” Furlough said. “She said what better reason than to do it now.”
Hackett said she shared the news of Furlough’s diagnosis with her players after she’d “had some time to digest it,” and they decided to make this their Pink Out game.
“The news obviously wasn’t easy for me because of how close I am to Kim,” Hackett added. “This is a rivalry game, but my biggest thing with the girls is that this is so much bigger than basketball.”
Northern-Northwest has been one of the best girls basketball rivalries in the area, if not the state, in recent years. Both teams won state championships in 2017 and 2018.
“Regardless of the rivalry, a lot of these girls on both teams are friends and have played together for a long time and hang out outside of school,” Hackett said. “Our girls were concerned and shocked and felt for Kim and the Northern girls. … It’s not just to support Kim, but to support those girls as well.”
Assistant coach Josh Evans is filling in as Northern’s coach while Furlough undergoes treatment.
“I hadn’t missed a game since I’d been at Northern,” Furlough said, “so it’s hard.”
Northwest will wear pink uniforms tonight, while Northern will wear white uniforms with pink trim for the game. Admission is $7, and the boys varsity game will follow the girls game.
“We’ll have a social after the game for both teams to be together regardless of how it shakes out,” Hackett said.