LOS ANGELES – Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle offered his condolences after former NBA referee Greg Willard died Monday night at the age of 54 because of pancreatic cancer.
“We’ve all known about Greg Willard’s situation for many months,’’ Carlisle said after Tuesday’s shoot around at Loyola Marymount University. “We followed the situation closely and we’re all very sadden that he’s passed.
“The hope is that this will bring more attention to one of the most aggressive and under-screened diseases that we have.’’
Earlier this season, Carlisle passed out purple arm bands to the media and other folks with the words “Fight Pancreatic Cancer,’’ and the website www.pancan.org writer on it. As the president of the coach’s association, Carlisle would like more attention paid to pancreatic research.
“I’m a big advocate of pancreatic cancer research,’’ he said. “Greg was one of the top referees, he was a good person and highly respected, and he’s a crusader on this mission.
“The hope is that more and more people will take note of how important it is.’’
-- Dwain Price
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