Skip to content




First Citizens Bank Sponsors Fundraiser Featuring Celebrity Athletes from Duke, UNC, NBA 

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 21, 2017) – Teen Cancer America (TCA) today announced it will host a summer fundraiser, the 2017 Nolan Smith TCA Hoop-a-thon Challenge, in Durham, N.C., on Saturday, July 22, at the Emily K Center. Led by TCA Ambassador and former Duke University basketball All-American Nolan Smith, the event will feature a shooting competition enabling individuals and sponsored teams to raise money by making the most shots within an allotted time.

The Emily K Center, named in honor of Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s mother, features a full-size indoor basketball facility. Hoop-a-thon participants will be put into groups of up to 25 shooters, each with a celebrity coach. Smith has recruited current and former men’s basketball players from Duke, UNC and the NBA to volunteer as team coaches. Money will be raised based on pledged contributions for every shot that is made. TCA is raising funds for the development of specialized facilities and services for adolescents and young adults fighting cancer.

The response to this event has been amazing so far, and I encourage everyone to get involved, either by participating in the Hoop-a-thon or making a pledge to donate,” said Smith. I’m super excited about hosting this one-of‑a kind fundraiser to help some very brave young people who need and deserve our support.”

Smith, who currently serves as special assistant to Duke men’s basketball under Coach K, has enlisted well-known Blue Devil and Tar Heel basketball stars to volunteer as guest coaches. The list of legendary celebrity coaches will be announced over the next few weeks. The TCA Hoop-a-thon is sponsored and underwritten by Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, a primary corporate partner of Teen Cancer America.

The Triangle area is a major hub for world-class basketball and for Teen Cancer America, making this event a wonderful way to raise money and awareness for our mission, including our local projects and others across the country,” said Jeremy Deckelbaum, Regional Development Director for TCA. We are extremely fortunate to have a passionate ambassador like Nolan Smith and the support of Duke basketball to turn this inaugural event into something special – hoops fans will not want to miss it.”

Details about sponsorship, team and individual participation, and pledged contributions can be found at https://​www​.teen​cance​r​amer​ica​.org/​h​o​o​p​a​thon/. Additional details will be provided upon registration, including recommended arrival times and parking information. The TCA Hoop-a-thon will feature a total of 24 groups, with six groups competing simultaneously during four separate sessions. During the competition, each participant will have four minutes to shoot from designated spots on the court. The group making the most shots overall will receive a special team prize.

Participants will receive swag bags with t‑shirts, wristbands and other giveaways. There will also be prize raffles and a silent auction of sports and music memorabilia available to all attendees. DJ Autumn Joi from radio station K97.5 will provide MC and DJ entertainment throughout the day.

Anyone who is unable to attend the event or doesn’t want to shoot can still contribute, either by volunteering, making a one-time tax deductible donation, pledging for a participant, or simply helping to spread awareness.

Co-founded by rock icons Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, and headquartered in Los Angeles, TCA is dedicated to the clinical and psycho-social needs of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients who too often find themselves being treated among small children or the elderly. AYA cancer programs and specially-designed facilities are proven to improve outcomes and survivorship.

More than 70,000 teenagers and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S., and yet there are only 13 hospitals with specialized AYA facilities and programs, all developed by TCA. In addition to projects currently underway at Duke and UNC, partnerships with more than 50 hospitals around the country are in various stages of planning.

First Citizens’ sponsorship of Teen Cancer America is its largest-ever corporate philanthropic initiative, which has been implemented across its banking franchise from coast to coast. The bank is working with TCA to raise funds, build awareness and partner with hospital and medical centers to establish new teen cancer units and programs. First Citizens’ Teen Cancer America campaign features the powerful theme, Open the Door,” based on Daltrey’s recording of a new version of Let My Love Open The Door,” created exclusively for First Citizens and TCA. For more information, visit LetMyLoveOpenThe​Door​.com, use #LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor or stop by a local First Citizens Bank location.

About Teen Cancer America 

Following in the footsteps of Teenage Cancer Trust, the highly developed and successful Teen and Young Adult cancer program in the U.K., Teen Cancer America is designed specifically to help U.S. hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care in America. TCA aims to educate and support hospitals and outpatient facilities in the development of specialized units for the age group from 13 to 25. These units provide sanctuaries where the cancer experience is understood and the importance of living life through the cancer journey is nourished. TCA also brings together physicians and allied healthcare professionals from pediatric and adult oncology so AYA cancer patients can receive the specialized treatments and support that they need. Founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, TCA is supported by celebrity sports and entertainment ambassadors including Eddie Vedder, Joan Jett, Nolan Smith, actress Victoria Summer, The Band Perry and PGA star Daniel Berger.

About First Citizens Bank

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., with offices in 23 states. First Citizens focuses on developing long-term relationships and offers a comprehensive array of products and services to individuals, families, businesses and the medical community. First Citizens Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq: FCNCA), which has more than $34 billion in assets. For more information, visit firstc​i​t​i​zens​.com. First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.

Back to News