Chris Webber joins Matt Barnes at golf invitational

Current and former NBA stars coming to Roseville
By: Jeffrey Weidel, Special to The Press Tribune
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Matt Barnes lost his mother to cancer three years ago. While he still mourns the loss, he also vows to fight the illness that took away his mother at the young age of 50.


A Sacramento native who has played seven NBA seasons, Barnes and plenty of his NBA buddies will be on hand for the second annual Athletes vs. Cancer Golf Invitational on Saturday, July 24 at Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville.


Gates will open to the public at 9:30 a.m. The shotgun start is at 11 a.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Athletes vs. Cancer Foundation and other local charities to create awareness, provide screening opportunities and deliver subsequent support to cancer patients.


Barnes and former Sacramento Kings teammate Chris Webber have been recruiting current and former NBA players and various pro athletes from other sports.


“I’ve been to a few of these events like this on my own,” Barnes said. “I know it goes a long way when someone like myself or Chris reaches out to guys we know and tell them what’s going on. The majority of the people have been touched by cancer. People respect this cause and are coming out to support us.”


All proceeds go toward providing cancer screenings, awareness and family support. Spectator tickets are on sale.


Barnes created the event in memory of his mother, Ann Barnes, who passed away from lung cancer on November 27, 2007 after being diagnosed only 26 days earlier. The tragic loss provided Barnes the first-hand experience shared by millions of others of losing a loved one to this terrible disease. In 2009, Barnes established the Matt Barnes Foundation to support families affected by cancer.


After the foundation’s launch, Barnes discovered an immense amount of

support from the sports community and decided to rename the charity – Athletes vs. Cancer Foundation. The nonprofit’s current name represents both its reach through national events and multiple athletes.


“The amount of celebrities that came out to support the tournament last year was overwhelming,” said Scott Prenez, the head professional at Diamond Oaks Golf Course who volunteers his time to help coordinate the event.  “We got tremendous support last year from Matt, Chris Webber and all the celebrities who took the time to be here. We expect another fun tournament this year and hope people come out to watch their favorite NBA players and help contribute to the fight against cancer.”


The 2010 Athletes vs. Cancer Golf Invitational, presented by Thunder Valley Casino Resort, will have a long roster of NBA players, plus current and former Sacramento Kings, including Doug Christie, Donte Greene, Jason Williams and Henry Turner.


Other scheduled attendees include Baron Davis, Vince Carter, Nate Robinson, Trevor Ariza, Jameer Nelson, George Hill, Bo Outlaw, Toby Bailey, Earl Watson, Leon Powe, Dan Majerle, Chuck Hayes, Fat Lever and Coach Alvin Gentry, UFC champion Urijah Faber, NFL players Hamza Abdullah, Adam Jennings and Mike Haas, and WNBA retired player Edna Campbell. Sports commentators J.A. Adande and Grant Napear will also be participating.