Thursday, February 23, 2012

Women’s Basketball Guard Shaves Head

By: Elyse Glahn, Guest Reporter

She entered Olson Gym with all of her hair Jan. 10 for a basketball game against Puget Sound. She left with a shaved head.

Pacific Lutheran’s women’s basketball guard sophomore Allie Hamilton decided to shave her head in honor of Pam Kilcup, the mother of her teammate guard junior Shelly Kilcup.

Hamilton said she would shave her head at halftime during the men’s basketball game if the women’s basketball team could raise $3,000. The team outdid that goal, raising roughly $3,600. Thus, Shelly Kilcup earned the honor of shaving Allie’s head.

Hamilton said her teammates were supportive and excited for the event.

“A group of us were in the library one night and we thought of it together,” Hamilton said.

The team created a Facebook page a month in advance to garner awareness. The players all wore matching pink T-shirts for the event.

“The ‘Cancer Sucks’ T-shirt was my team’s idea,” Shelly Kilcup said. “Right when they found out about my mom, they didn’t waste their time and were so incredibly helpful.”

Aside from the Kilcup family, almost 1,000 people attended the game. Scorekeepers and many audience members also wore the pink shirts.

“People who barely know me donated money, and that just brings tears to my eyes,” Shelly Kilcup said.

This is not the first time Shelly Kilcup has had to deal with family hardship: Shelly’s father, who shared her love for basketball, died just before last season started. Shelly’s high school basketball coach, Mark Jones, said Shelly continues to stay strong and motivated.

Shelly said her mother’s courage and her father’s love of the game feed her drive on the court.

She also said she cannot thank her team enough for what they have done and they were the ones who got her through some of the roughest times in her life.

“Shelly is driven and supportive. She is a caring and outgoing person, with high moral character,” Jones said. “It doesn’t matter, whether it’s basketball or school, Shelly goes at it one hundred and ten percent.”

Kilcup said her mother initially did not want Hamilton to shave her head and would never expect anyone to have done that for her, but Hamilton wouldn’t take no for an answer. Now, when Hamilton walks around campus with her shaved head, she said she gets positive reactions.

“People are really nice,” Hamilton said. “They say I look like G.I. Jane.”

Hamilton’s idea left Shelly Kilcup speechless.

“I can’t even explain in words how much shaving her head meant to me,” she said.