Duke’s Nolan Smith Joins Teen Cancer America As Celebrity Sports Ambassador

“TCA Tuesday” Social Media Campaign To Help Fund Specialized Cancer Care

DURHAM, N.C. (December 13, 2016) – Nolan Smith, former Duke Blue Devils basketball star and current special assistant under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, today announced he is joining the national non-profit Teen Cancer America (TCA) as a celebrity sports ambassador. Founded by rock ’n’ roll legends Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, TCA is dedicated to developing specialized facilities that address the age-specific clinical and psychosocial needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer.

Since launching in the U.S. in 2012, TCA has projects underway or in development with world-class cancer centers at UCLA, Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering (New York), Dana-Farber (Harvard), Yale, University of Chicago, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Moffitt (Tampa), Vanderbilt, Baylor and Case University. Partnerships with more than 50 hospitals around the country are in various stages of planning, including Duke Cancer Institute at Duke University Hospital and UNC Cancer Care at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill.

At the press conference held at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, Smith introduced “TCA Tuesday,” a social media and text campaign which calls on supporters to donate $5 in order to raise $1 million for TCA initiatives in 2017. He officially launched TCA Tuesday with a live tweet, calling on supporters to text NOLAN to 20222 to donate $5 or visit for other donations. Smith, who has more than 87,000 Twitter followers (@ndotsmitty), will be supported in the campaign by Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB), which has over 800,000 followers, and The Who (@TheWho), with more than 500,000 followers worldwide.

As a high-scoring guard for Duke, Smith helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA Championship in his junior season. The following year, he was named a consensus first-team All-American and honored as ACC Player of the Year. As a TCA ambassador and one of the most popular players in ACC history, Smith will lead a variety of specific fundraising initiatives that will call on the fans of Duke, UNC and other universities to come together for teenagers and young adults fighting cancer.

One of the fundraising goals will benefit the “Nolan Smith AYA Cancer Leaders Workshop” during the 2017 AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) Cancer Conference in Atlanta, sponsoring 20 cancer care professionals from hospitals and community clinics for a training day at the international conference, which is being hosted in the U.S. for the first time. Smith will also work in partnership with Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, a major sponsor of TCA, to drive awareness of its corporate campaign, #LetMyLoveOpentheDoor, which serves to raise funds online and through branch locations in 18 states.

In addition to Smith, speakers at the press conference included:
 Sally Webb, CEO, The Special Event Company and founding board member, Teen Cancer America
 Jill Sullivan, MD, PhD – Fellow, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Cellular Therapy, AYAO
Program team member, Duke Cancer Institute
 The Who frontman Roger Daltrey (via video)

About Teen Cancer America
Teen Cancer America is designed to help hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care by educating and support hospitals and outpatient facilities in the development of specialized units for this age group. TCA brings together physicians and allied healthcare professionals in both pediatric and adult oncology. Age targeted care for this population is necessary for medical and appropriate psychosocial development of this unique age group. Research shows that outcomes associated with some cancers that target this age group have not improved in over 30 years while improvements have been made in both pediatric and adult cancers. Teens and young adults with cancer are long overdue for an upgrade and TCA can hopefully light the fire in America’s health systems.

For more information about TCA or to inquire about making a contribution, please contact Barbara Leedy at The Special Event Company 919-459-8785.

Charles Upchurch
919-277-1175 direct
919-395-1588 cell


Nolan Smith
Special Assistant
Duke Men’s Basketball

“Known as the “People’s Champ” to many and Coach Nolan to others, Nolan is one of the most charismatic players to ever play the game of basketball. Understanding early there was so much more to life than just his athletic ability, he made it his mission to make his off the court persona as big as his on the court plays.

After graduating from Oak Hill Academy, he chose to attend Duke University for both academic reasons and the opportunity to play basketball for one of the nation’s top teams.

During Nolan’s time at Duke, the team went 65-2 at Cameron Indoor Stadium for both home wins, and winning percentage in a four-year period. In his junior season, Nolan helped lead the team to win a National Championship and returned the following season to lead the team to the Sweet Sixteen.

Along with winning the National Championship one of Nolan’s most notable achievements was being named a consensus first-team All-American and the ACC Player of the year in 2011.

While in college, Nolan worked with a non-profit called The Monday Life, whose mission is simple, yet impactful, to help hospitalized children feel better. Through his visits to Duke Children’s hospital, the children left an impact on him that he would never forget.

After receiving his degree in African and African American Studies, Nolan was selected at the 21st pick overall in the 2011 NBA Draft to the Portland Trail Blazer, where he played two seasons.

Currently, Nolan is a Special Assistant for the Duke Men’s Basketball team.”

“I enjoy being a great person more than being a basketball player – I take pride in that”
-Nolan Smith

Join Team Nolan: Text NOLAN to 20222 to donate $5 or Visit (click the box that indicates Team Nolan Smith)

#GiveTCATuesday #TeamNolan #TeenCancerAmerica @NdotSmitty

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