Nobel Laureate William Kaelin Honored at Countdown to Craziness

Dr. William Kaelin is honored at Countdown to Craziness Friday. Photo by Reagan Lunn
Dr. William Kaelin is honored at Countdown to Craziness Friday. Photo by Reagan Lunn

One of the stars of the annual Countdown to Craziness men’s basketball season opener Friday was someone who won’t play a minute of game time this season. 

During ceremonies before the team’s public scrimmage, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski honored Duke alumnus and trustee Dr. William Kaelin, who won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Kaelin, who is Sidney Farber professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, won for studies of how cells adapt to changing oxygen environments. The work has implications for diseases beyond cancer, such as anemia, myocardial infarction and stroke.

Krzyzewski brought Kaelin out to midcourt and presented him with a basketball autographed by team members.

Kaelin was one of several special guests at the event. Duke sophomore guard Tre Jones brought his mother, Debbie Jones to center court during player introductions. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last winter, but this month was declared cancer free.

In addition, 14-year-old MyAsia Stokes, who is undergoing treatment at Duke Children’s Hospital, was brought out to center court and presented with a team basketball.  She wore Duke junior Alex O’Connell’s jersey as she was cheered by players and the Cameron audience.

For more coverage of the event, visit GoDuke.com.