STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun is being treated for a second bout of skin cancer but expects to be on the bench this fall for his 22nd season with the Huskies.
``I want to coach basketball at UConn,'' the 66-year-old Hall of Famer said Friday. ``At this moment I love what I'm do and feel very, very comfortable in doing that.''
His physician, Dr. Jeffrey Spiro, attended the news conference with Calhoun and said he believes the coach is now cancer free.
Calhoun is to undergo six weeks of radiation treatments next month at the UConn Health Center to minimize any chance of the cancer returning. His doctors told him there will be short-term side effects from the radiation, but they expect Calhoun to return to his normal lifestyle, including coaching.
``I have one more step to go,'' Calhoun said. ``I feel much, much better, thank God.''
Calhoun said doctors determined last month that a lump in the upper right side of his neck near the jaw line was squamous cell cancer. He had surgery May 6 to remove the lump, several surrounding lymph nodes and part of his salivary gland. Subsequent tests revealed all the cancer had been removed.
Calhoun was first treated for squamous cell cancer last year when doctors found it on his cheek. Doctors told him the recurrence this spring is related to his prior skin cancer but not related to the prostate cancer he was treated for in 2003.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, with more than 250,000 new cases a year in the United States.
At UConn, Calhoun has turned a regional program into a perennial national power that includes two NCAA titles (1999, 2004). Twenty-one former Huskies under Calhoun were drafted by the NBA, with 14 of those first-rounders. In 2006, UConn became the first school to have five players taken in the first two rounds of the draft.
Calhoun was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and has 750 wins during his 35-year coaching career. He was 248-137 during 14 years at Northeastern and is 502-191 at UConn.
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