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September 21, 2012

Friends rally support for J.C. Hulls' cancer battle

As J.C. Hulls' battle with cancer wore on, close friends offered their concern and support.

They also wanted to help. They knew the toll cancer can take on a person and a family, and they knew the often unspoken reality of dealing with cancer: Medical bills pile up.

Former Fort Wayne golf pro Tim Alexander took the lead and organized a benefit golf outing that will be held Oct. 8 at Bear Slide Golf Club in Cicero, Ind.

Two years earlier, Hulls had played in the Neal/Delagrange Celebrity Golf Tournament in Fort Wayne that raises money each year for Special Olympics.

"Organizing the celebrities for that tournament for several years and being a former golf pro, this was a very easy decision," Alexander said. "I am honored and humbled at the same time to be asked to help out such a great person in J.C. Hulls. Everyone J.C. comes in contact with instantly has a smile on their face."

Hulls, 50, was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsils in April and has since undergone an aggressive course of radiation and chemotherapy.

Hulls is a longtime basketball coach in Indiana. His son Jordan and daughter Kaila current play for IU. His father John was a Bob Knight assistant.

"When I think of the tradition of Indiana high school basketball and the Indiana Hoosiers, the first three families that come to mind are the Alfords, the Zellers and the Hulls," Alexander said, referring to three families who had sons win Indiana Mr. Basketball and play at IU. "I'm sure there are a lot of other great family traditions out there, but in my 35 years of watching basketball, there are none better in my opinion than those three.

"I have been blessed to meet Mr. Alford and J.C. and look forward to meeting Mr. Zeller. All three of those families make you a better person just by being around them."

The golf benefit will begin at noon with a shotgun start. Teams of five players are $1,000. Players may sign up individually for $200. Hole sponsorships are $250. Teams will be placed with a former Indiana player or local celebrity.

A dinner and auction for signed sports memorabilia, tickets and other items will be held following the golf outing.

For more information, to register a team or donate, contact Alexander at timmerfw@aol.com or (260) 385-8034 or on Twitter @timmeralex.

"We would love Hoosier Nation to come out and support such a fine person fighting a terrible disease," Alexander said. "This is a must event if you are a fan of Indiana basketball."

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