Michigan State coach Tom Izzo

The Associated Press

ATLANTA -- It's the weekend when some well-dressed -- and some not so well-dressed -- college basketball coaches wear sneakers to show their support for the American Cancer Society.

The seventh annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend is an initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches that has coaches, their teams and local communities trying to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Fans are encouraged to wear sneakers to games this weekend to show support.

By wearing sneakers with their suits, college and high school basketball coaches across the country will spotlight the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of the disease.

"We may be battling on the court night in and night out, but as coaches, we're on the same team when it comes to reminding our basketball community and our fans about taking an active role in reducing our risk of cancer and in fighting back on behalf of those who face a cancer diagnosis," said UNLV coach Lon Kruger, a member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council. "Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend is all about challenging us all to get involved in the fight for every birthday threatened by cancer in every community."

Among the other coaches involved are Naismith Memorial Hall of Famers Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Jim Calhoun of Connecticut, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Roy Williams of North Carolina.

Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised more than $60 million since 1993 to help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for public health policies that benefit communities, and deliver services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.