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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ernie Kent, Don Verlin find common ground at Coaches vs. Cancer gala

Washington State coach Ernie Kent won’t have the services of four-star recruit Roberto Gittens this season. (Young Kwak / AP)
Washington State coach Ernie Kent won’t have the services of four-star recruit Roberto Gittens this season. (Young Kwak / AP)

Ernie Kent stole the show at the 15th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Gala at the Spokane Convention Center last Saturday.

One of the live auction items at the gala was a chance to be the honorary Vandal basketball coach for a game. It included a chance to hang out with the team during pregame and to call the first play in the game. The item was donated by Idaho basketball coach Don Verlin, who was the honorary chairman for this year’s gala.

The live auction was stuck at $600 and the auctioner was seconds away from saying “sold!” when Kent stood up, held his auction number high and offered $2,000.

“It’s not about the dollar amount,” Kent said Monday. “It was about making an emphasis on the awareness for why we were there. That can’t get overlooked in the giving, and the fact that it’s Idaho. It’s the American Cancer Society and it’s Coaches vs. Cancer. It was an opportunity to give back, but first and foremost it was an opportunity to bring awareness. I lost my dad to cancer. I’m sure everybody’s been affected and it’s about beating this disease, and here was an opportunity in a moment to do something that is going to bring awareness to beating this disease.”

Idaho has beaten WSU the past two years and Kent is more than happy to make that first call in the Dec. 7 matchup in Pullman. Verlin insisted that Kent sing along to the Vandal fight song, which he did, but not before serenading the gathering with the WSU fight song.

The event raised $110,000 to support the Spokane American Cancer Society.

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