Wife of UB men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats diagnosed with lymphoma

Oats to continue to coach while supporting wife and family

New men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats’ wife has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

Oats announced his wife Crystal’s diagnosis on his Facebook page Monday. He said Crystal will undergo a strong chemotherapy treatment over the next 5-6 months and he will continue to coach the Bulls this season while devoting all his other time to his wife and three young daughters.

“Crystal is the strongest woman I know. She’s been there with me every step of the way on my adult journey through life. This Dec 20 we will have been married 18 years, and I can honestly say I know she’s exactly what I've needed for a wife. She’s everything to me and we will fight this battle together,” Oats said in the Facebook post.

Crystal had originally received a call that she had lymphoma based on a CAT scan and blood work nearly two weeks ago. An oncologist at Roswell Park Center Institute confirmed Crystal had “double-hit lymphoma” on Sunday.

Oats is entering his first season as Bulls head coach after serving as an assistant under former head coach Bobby Hurley during the past two seasons. Buffalo begins its season on Nov. 13 against Pitt.-Bradford at Alumni Arena.

“Together we have gotten to this stage in my coaching career and Crystal wants me to coach the team this year so while I will give every ounce of energy I have to helping Crystal through this trial, I'll also need to be around a lot more for my 3 wonderful daughters, & still coach this team to the best of my ability. I probably won't have much extra time for anything else nor do I really want to do much of anything else until I get her through this,” Oats said in the post.

A GoFundMe page has been created to support Oats and Crystal. The campaign has raised $3,900 of its $10,000 goal as of Tuesday night.

Tom Dinki is the editor in chief and can be reached at tom.dinki@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tomdinki.