- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - St. John’s coach Steve Lavin will undergo surgery on Thursday to treat prostate cancer.

The 47-year-old Lavin, who is starting his second season with the Red Storm, announced in early April that he had been diagnosed the previous September with an early stage of the disease. After continuing his normal coaching duties for about a year while pursuing a physician-recommended course of active surveillance, Lavin changed his treatment path to surgery.

He is expected to resume his coaching responsibilities after a recovery period. Practice starts Oct. 14, and the Red Storm’s first game is Nov. 7 against William & Mary in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

In his first season as coach of the Red Storm, Lavin led St. John’s to a 21-12 record and its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2002.

Lavin will have the surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The former UCLA coach and ESPN analyst has been closely involved for the last decade with both Coaches vs. Cancer and The V Foundation for Cancer Research, participating in numerous fundraising and awareness events. For seven years, he has been part of the President’s Club leadership giving group of The V Foundation, a group that includes Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Kentucky’s John Calipari. Lavin has helped to raise more than $1 million for Coaches vs. Cancer since his arrival at St. John’s in March 2010.

“The advantage of early detection is that we were afforded the time to research all options,” Lavin said. “After weighing treatment options with the experts at Sloan 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.”