Notre Dame basketball coaches host "Tip-Off for Heart" - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Notre Dame basketball coaches host "Tip-Off for Heart"

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They are used to asking guys to show more heart on the court, but Wednesday the Notre Dame basketball coaches were focused on how to keep that heart healthy.

"As we know heart disease is the number one killer," said Notre Dame head basketball coach Mike Brey.

According to the American Heart Association, each day over 2500 Americans suffer heart attacks and another 2100 suffer strokes.

Those are numbers Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey would love to see decrease, so he decided to partner up the American Heart Association to hold a "Tip-Off for Heart" clinic. The program that he called a 'fantasy basketball camp combined with a health clinic' incorporates the benefits of combining basketball and a healthy life-style.

"I think we've all been kind of touched closely in the family or by a friend with disease," said Brey.

Not only did participants learn some skills from the Irish coaches that they could use against their friends on the court, but also some dieting tips from the team's nutritionists.

"It's not just basketball," said Mike Lewandowski. "They tie it into your every day routine with some things you can take home with you. Probably change your diet a little bit you know. I might need a bit of that."

People who were attending the event, but they also recognized the other benefits.

"I like to feel good and wake up in the morning and know that I'm healthy and this is an opportunity," said Bryan Stratton.

While the dieting and nutrition advice were two key portions of the clinic, representatives from the Heart Association also wanted participants to walk away wanting to play more basketball.

"It's nice to be able to get on the court and get out with your friends and get some exercise. Which in turn is good for your heart," said American Heart Association spokesperson Laura Guy.

Coach Brey knows he only had a day to get the programs message across, but he hopes it's enough to make a lasting impact on the lives of the participants.

"You want some guys going out of here and maybe they change their lifestyle starting tomorrow with 'I learned a lot' and wake up tomorrow and go 'my lifestyle is going to change to a healthier lifestyle'," said Brey.

This was the first time an event like this was held at Notre Dame. Coach Brey said they had 30 people show up this year and he is hoping the event will grow even bigger next year.   

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