Penn State hoops coach Chambers gives $14,200 to THON

Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers talks to his players during their NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in State College, Pa. Iowa won 74-72. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Abby Drey) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT

Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers got Penn State’s annual THON dance marathon for pediatric cancer off to a rocking start Friday night when he presented a check for $14,200 from his family to the charity.

Chambers, a Philadelphia University graduate who is in his second season as head coach of the Nittany lions, had pledged to donate $10 for every student who attended Thursday night’s game against Iowa at the Bryce Jordan Center. A total of 1,420 students showed up for the game, which the Lions lost 74-72.

“My wife Courtney and I talked at length about it and we wanted to make a powerful statement,” Chambers said. “THON has just blown me away. It’s a phenomenal event. We are very fortunate to have three young children and they are all healthy so I’m very lucky. This is where it started for us.”

Chambers handed over his check before the 6 p.m. Friday start of the 46-hour dance marathon to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. A total of more than $10.6 million was raised last year.

More than 700 dancers and thousands of student volunteers are involved in the effort at the Jordan Center.

Chambers also shaved his head in support of the “No Hair, Don’t Care” fund-raising effort for THON.

--Joe Juliano