Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday in the Capitol Rotunda in Santa Fe presented UNM men’s basketball coach Craig Neal with a check for $10,000 to be given to senior guard Hugh Greenwood’s “Pink Pack” for cancer fundraising and awareness.
The money is from unused, privately collected inaugural funds.
“I am donating $10,000 from my inaugural committee to the ‘Pink Pack’ because the only way we will find a cure for cancer is by joining together, pooling our resources, and focusing on the lifesaving mission that everyone can fight back against cancer,” Martinez said.
Greenwood, the senior from Australia whose mother is battling breast cancer, last week was the target of social media harassment directed at his mother’s battle with the disease. He later went on to hit six 3-pointers that night in a 71-69 win over UNLV and talked on a nationally televised postgame interview about the Twitter taunts.
“I am so proud of Hugh for standing beside his mother, for taking the high-road during the UNLV game, for having the courage to fight against cancer—for his own family and for others—and that is why I am standing by Hugh today,” Martinez said.
After the game, Greenwood expanded on his comments to the Journal.
“I don’t mind when people attack me personally,” Greenwood said. “That’s all well and good. We put ourselves in positions (as basketball players) to do that. But family is different, especially with mum going through what she’s going through. As a family, it’s very, very difficult to (hear) jokes about cancer and jokes about driving my mum here in a hearse. It was hurtful and obviously it motivated me tonight. …
“Just thinking about what she goes through — popping that chemo pill every morning knowing, yeah, it’s going to make things better, but at the same time it’s going to have horrible side effects. … If she can do what she does every day, it motivates me to go out there and play as hard as I can.”
Greenwood’s younger sister, Josie, is a sophomore on the UNM’s women’s basketball team. Their parents, Andree and Mike, are back home in Australia. They were in the United States for two months earlier in the season and hope to return to Albuquerque for Hugh’s Senior Night game on March 7.
Greenwood took to Twitter on Monday afternoon, thankful for the support from Santa Fe, tweeting “Absolutely Speechless! Words can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am to you @Gov_Martinez, and your $10,000 donation to @HGPinkPack!”
— Hugh Greenwood (@HGreenwood3) January 26, 2015
Monday’s presentation was a part of an effort to promote early cancer testing during an event for the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program that included college basketball coaches across the country wearing sneakers with their suits during games last week.
Here is a video of Greenwood’s postgame interview with the Journal after last week’s UNLV game: