May 10, 2015
George Kiel III, Cypress Creek alum and co-founder of the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation, speaks during the Kick & Roll Open Gym session at Cypress Creek on April 18. The next open gym session will be held May 16 at Cypress Creek. (Photo via Karlton Johnson)
May 10, 2015—Cypress Creek High School alumnus George Kiel III is using the memory of his late mother and his love for the game of basketball to spread awareness for—and ultimately defeat—colon cancer.
Kiel, who established the 501(c)(3) Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation this year in honor of his late mother—a March 2014 victim of colon cancer—will host the Kick & Roll Open Gym session at his alma mater (9815 Grant Road) on May 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The free, sneaker-themed monthly pickup basketball gathering will raise awareness for colorectal cancer, encourage a healthy lifestyle and build a rapport within the community through themed, non-monetary donations.
Kiel, a 2003 Cypress Creek graduate, said the name of his organization is also a play on words, since his name, Kiel, is pronounced like kill.
“While the disease is the third-leading cause of all deaths related to cancer in the U.S., it is also the No.-1 most beatable cancer in existence—so kill it,” Kiel said. “We set it up to raise awareness and generates funds for colon cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs in honor of my mother.”
Participants Marcus Hall, left, and Jazqau Goudeau (jumping) compete in the Kick & Roll Open Gym session at Cypress Creek on April 18. (Photo via Karlton Johnson)
The May 16 open gym session is the second of three in Houston. The initial event, held April 18 at Cypress Creek, welcomed more than 100 attendees.
Although free to the public and participants, only the first 40 registrants are allowed to play in the sessions. To play, participants must donate a non-monetary gift to the theme chosen for each particular month.
“The themed donations will go to specific groups and/or entities we target each month in hopes of bettering the overall state of colon cancer,” Kiel said.
The open gym sessions are extensions of the organization’s marquee event, the Kick & Roll Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. The inaugural event, held last July in Round Rock, featured nearly 600 guests and 40 teams.
The second annual event is scheduled for July 25 at the Round Rock Sports Center near Austin.
Kiel said that over the course of a few years, his foundation plans to develop other events—both non-athletic and athletic—under the foundation's name.
For more information, visit the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation website.
Open gym participant Jeremie Williams goes up for a dunk in the April 18 event at Cypress Creek. (Photo via Karlton Johnson)
Guests and participants at the April 18 open gym session, including retired Cypress Creek principal Jim Wells, observe the action on the court. (Photo via Karlton Johnson)
A total of 105 guests turned out for the April 18 open gym session at Cypress Creek. (Photo via Karlton Johnson)