Former NSU basketball coach Don Meyer is known as being one of the most successful coaches in NCAA men’s basketball history. A new project at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen is recognizing Coach Meyer’s wins off the court. Thursday officials with the hospital launched the Coach Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence, which will house a new cancer institute.
Coach Don Meyer has spent plenty of time at the Avera Cancer Care Center in Aberdeen. While in surgery for injuries sustained in a car crash in 2008, doctors discovered slow-growing, inoperable cancer in his liver and small intestine. The increasing number of cancer patients is pushing the current center to its limits. Hospital officials are planning for a new 13 million dollar cancer institute. And while Meyer says his and his wife’s names are on the building, the project really isn’t about them.
“It’s a team,” Meyer says. “And we’ve got to give that team a place to work and to train and to develop and to, you know, maybe save a life or lengthen a life, or make a life more comfortable. Boy, that’s what it’s all about. And that’s why we’re so honored that there are so many people here.”
Meyer says the most difficult thing is when that team loses one of its players. He hopes the new center makes it easier for people in the region to receive cancer treatments closer to home and family.