Ben Howland understands pressure and challenge. As the Head Basketball Coach of the storied UCLA Men’s Basketball Team, he carries the hopes of his players, UCLA fans and alumni through a schedule of challenging games and tournaments.

Coach Howland is familiar with another form of pressure and challenge — the type that comes from having to face Huntington’s disease.  His wife Kim is at risk as is her sister. Their father and grandfather both died from complications caused by Huntington’s disease. Kim and Ben have two children who are at risk, as is their new grandson.

To help improve the future outlook of his family, Coach Howland has become active with the HD Community and the Los Angeles Chapter of HDSA. In 2010, he hosted a Hoop-a-thon at UCLA that raised over $100,000 in only its second year. The participation of many members of UCLA teams and the UCLA community came out to support Coach Howland, contributing to the great  success of this event.

As someone who helps great athletes gain more control over their minds and bodies, it must be ironic for Coach Howland to be battling Huntington’s disease, which does the exact opposite – robs the affected person of their ability to control their mind and body. It’s good to have someone like Coach Howland on the HDSA team.


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