Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Colleges [Print without images]

Friday, October 14, 2011
Steve Lavin not at St. John's festivities

By Kieran Darcy

St. John's basketball coach Steve Lavin, who underwent prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6, will not attend the team's season-opening Red Storm Tip-Off event Friday night.

Earlier this week, the school had promoted that Lavin would be in attendance and address the crowd. But Friday afternoon, St. John's announced via Twitter that Lavin would not be present as he continues his recovery.

Lavin, 47, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in fall 2010, right before his first season at St. John's. Until last month, he and his doctors had chosen to closely monitor his condition without undergoing further treatment. But in late September, Lavin revealed that he would begin more aggressive treatment, either via surgery or radiation treatments. In the end, he elected to have surgery.

"The advantage of early detection is that we were afforded the time to research all options," Lavin said in a statement released by the school prior to the surgery. "After weighing treatment options with the experts at [Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center] we have decided surgery is the best path to take for my particular prostate cancer condition. We are confident that this course of treatment will lead to a cancer-free life."

Following the surgery, the school announced that the procedure went as planned, there were no complications and Lavin is expected to return to full-time coaching duties after a recovery period.