Sam’s Game 2017 at Oakland University this Sunday

Sam’s Basketball Game Pits #TeamOpto Against the (Very) Old School Team to Benefit New Day Foundation for Families  

Sam Kell is a 15-year-old diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2015, who remains an avid basketball player at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester. Sam’s Game will pit his teammates and friends, #TeamOpto, against supporters of his battle with cancer, the Old School Team, including WXYZ Meteorologist Dave Rexroth and WXYZ’s own Brad Gali; former Division 1 basketball players from U of M and Oakland University; along with Sam’s dad, uncles and their friends. The celebrity game referee is expected to be Reggie Jackson, and supporters include O.U. Coach Greg Kampe and former pro basketball player Greg Grant, who hosted the first Sam’s Game last year.

Sam's Game 2017

Sam’s Game 2017

Sam’s Game will benefit the New Day Foundation for Families, founded in honor of Sam’s late father, Matt Kell, who lost his battle with cancer more than ten years ago. New Day Co-founder and Executive Director Gina Kell Spehn and her husband, Co-founder Michael Spehn, blended their families after both losing their spouses to cancer and founded New Day Foundation in their memory. Sam, age 15, who was diagnosed over a year ago with Stage 4 brain cancer, is known for his eternal optimism and strong faith. New Day reduces the financial and emotional burdens of cancer patients and their families, providing hope and a profound impact on quality of life and treatment outcomes.  

Sunday, February 5, from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. (Doors open at 12:30 p.m.)

Oakland University O’Rena, 569 Pioneer Dr., Rochester, Mich. 48309

Admission is free, but donations are welcome to benefit New Day Foundation for Families, a high-impact local charity making a difference in the lives of families fighting cancer. To donate online, please visit 

About #TeamOpto

Sam’s neuro-oncologist, Dr. Carl Koschmann of U of M, best conveyed the extraordinary optimism displayed by Sam in the face of cancer. “Teens don’t handle (this type of situation) very well, on average,” he noted. “It’s unfair and we usually see anger, despair and depression. With Sam, he is appreciative of his physicians and he follows my instructions. He’s such an amazing patient,” he added.  He described how financial and emotional stress negatively affects the treatment outcomes of cancer patients, praising the work of New Day in their efforts to alleviate the problem. For more info. on Sam’s journey, visit

Gina Kell Spehn, executive director and co-founder of New Day Foundation for Families, is available to discuss the financial impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a family, and how the organization’s immediate help can often serve as the first light of hope.

About New Day Foundation for Families

A 2016 Top-Rated NonProfit by GreatNonprofits and Silver Level Guidestar organization, New Day Foundation for Families is a Rochester, Michigan, non-profit organization dedicated to helping families who have children under the age of 18 in the home as they face the many physical, emotional, and financial challenges that accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Families First program seeks to alleviate financial burdens in order to provide hope and stability in the midst of crisis, often providing rent or mortgage, auto or home repair, utility payments, counseling services, cleaning services, grocery and fuel gift cards.  

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