Steve Lavin to undergo treatment for prostate cancer

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Rebuilding St. John’s is no longer the biggest challenge ahead of coach Steve Lavin. Lavin announced Friday that he has an early stage of prostate cancer and will undergo treatment in the next few weeks.

 Lavin said the cancer was detected last fall, but elected to wait on treatment until after his first season with the Red Storm was complete.

“My family feels fortunate that through annual health exams, we detected my condition at an early stage,” Lavin said in a release. “This past fall I didn’t want to distract our team, but with the season behind us, we are now working with medical experts and taking the proper steps to tackle this health challenge head on.”

Lavin, 46, said he doesn’t expect the treatment to interfere with coaching St. John’s.

“I expect a complete cure of Coach Lavin’s condition and we anticipate a seamless continuation of his coaching duties,”  his urologist,  Jonathan Schiff, said in the release.

Other Big East coaches are thinking of Lavin, too. From the AP:

Lavin received support Friday from two Big East coaches who had prostate cancer — Jim Calhoun of Connecticut and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse — and went on win NCAA championships.

“All of us as men can get it,” Calhoun told The Associated Press. “I am happy for him that they caught it early. The cure rate then can be 100 percent.”

Calhoun, who won his third national title Monday night, was diagnosed in 2003.

“I underwent surgery; he may not,” Calhoun said. “But after the surgery I was back coaching in 12 days.”

Lavin led St. John’s to a 21-12 record and an NCAA tournament berth last season, the school’s best since 2002-03.

He’s also been an active participant in Coaches vs. Cancer and The V Foundation for Cancer Research during the last decade. That’s one of the reasons why you might’ve seen him sporting white shoes while coaching St. John’s – it’s a sign of solidarity and awareness for the Coaches vs. Cancer event.

Here’s to Lavin wearing those white shoes again next season.

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