Dick Vitale, Richard Phelps

Former Notre Dame head coach Digger Phelps now cancer-free


Just over two months after announcing that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, former Notre Dame head coach and current ESPN commentator Digger Phelps learned on Monday that he’s now cancer-free.

The good news came on the heels of Phelps’ completion of a six-week treatment program, and it was a great early present for the coach as he’ll celebrate his 72nd birthday Thursday. This marks the second time in three years that Phelps has beaten cancer, as he had to deal with prostate cancer in 2010.

One day after finding out the good news, Phelps made sure to thank Notre Dame president emeritus Rev. Theodore Hesburg, C.S.C. on the South Bend campus.

On Tuesday, Phelps made sure to find on campus the Most Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., university president emeritus who offered his guidance and blessed the coach during Phelps’ cancer-fighting process.

Phelps found Hesburgh celebrating Mass at Holy Cross House. It was Hesburgh’s words to Phelps early in spring — “Have the courage” — that helped Phelps in his fight. He fought, in part, because he had previously beaten cancer.

It’s great to hear that coach Phelps has been given a clean bill of health (he’ll undergo “maintenance” treatments every three months for the next two years), and he’ll once again be on television waving his hi-liter this winter.

College basketball has been used as a platform in the fight to find a cure for cancer, with ventures such as the Jimmy V Foundation and Coaches vs. Cancer being the most prominent.

h/t Eye on College Basketball

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.