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Air Force basketball coach Dave Pilipovich teaming with in-state rival for charity event

June 2, 2018 Updated: June 4, 2018 at 1:41 pm
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Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich stands during the singing of the National Anthem before the Falcons' game against San Jose State Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at Air Force Academy's Clune Arena. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Air Force basketball coach Dave Pilipovich will step out of his comfort zone and onto the golf course on June 11 for a charitable cause.

“My handicap is my clubs, I’m terrible,” Pilipovich said. “I don’t play but three times a year, and that is one sport that you have to play a lot to be good.”

The quality of the play is insignificant in this case. Pilipovich will be playing with his counterpart, Tad Boyle of Colorado, in Castle Rock at The Country Club at Castle Pines on June 11 as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Hope Invitational.

Pilipovich will also be part of the coinciding Taste of Hope dinner and auction on June 10 in Highlands Ranch.

Those interested in participating can find more details here.

This event is modeled after a similar golf outing hosted annually by Lon Kruger in Las Vegas.

It will be the third year for the event in Colorado after it raised $41,500 last year in funds that remain in state.

“It can only grow and get better because we can never have enough money for research and for cures,” Pilipovich said. “And we can never have enough awareness for the dreaded disease of cancer.”

Pilipovich and his wife, Kelly, know all too well the horrors of cancer, as both lost a parent to the disease last summer.

The couple donated $4,511 at their Men Against Breast Cancer Game last year at the academy and made a $2,500 donation to Coaches vs. Cancer. Kelly also serves as a Road to Recovery Driver, transporting cancer patients to treatments and waiting with them before returning them home, easing the burden on families at a difficult time.

The golf outing allows the coaches a chance to see each other socially. Air Force plays Boyle’s Colorado team annually, but aside from that, the coaches only see each other in passing at the Final Four and conferences. Because they generally recruit from different pools, they don’t often collide at youth tournaments.

“This gives us a chance to come together with one common goal,” Pilipovich said.

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