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Fillmore Central Basketball Players Shave Their Heads for Teammate

Posted at: 02/28/2013 6:41 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- When it comes to high school basketball playoffs, many teams have their ways of rallying together. The Fillmore Central Boys Basketball Team are doing so in support of one of their teammates.

The players on Fillmore Central High School's Boys Basketball Team are more than just a teammates, they're friends.

"A lot of these kids grew up together, went to the same after school activities," said Falcons B Squad Coach Aaron Mensink.

Which made it that much harder to find out that one of their own can't play anymore.

"I got diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, it was right here pushing on my lungs in early January," said B Squad Player Alex Scrabeck.

At 15 years old, Alex Scrabeck had to give up playing with the same team he's been a part of for years.

"My heart sank into my stomach," said Scrabeck.

“His game, his personality, everything about him it's just not on the team and I really think we all miss that," said teammate Jordan Miller.

The team rallied together for Alex, showing their support beyond the basketball court.

"Some of the b squad players said hey we want to shave our heads to support Alex and from there it's just kind of became a wildfire," said Aaron Janssen, Falcon’s Varsity Basketball Coach.

Soon players from the varsity team joined the b squad in cutting off their locks to support their teammate.

"It brought everyone together, it brought a smile to Alex's face and that's the biggest thing," said Varsity Captain Dan Gatzke.

"For me, as a coach what was powerful about that moment was seeing the empathy you know and the idea that these kids could understand,” said Janssen.

"It was really good to see how many people supported me and were looking out for me, thinking of me, keeping me in their prayers," said Scrabeck.

The team knows Alex is a fighter. Another reason why they've dedicated their season to him.

"It gives us a lot more energy going into playoffs knowing that we can play for him just playing our hardest," said Gatzke.

“Win or lose we are going to be winners all around because of him," said Mensink.

The Fillmore Central Falcons have their first playoff game against Grand Meadow tonight, where Alex Scrabeck says he'll be cheering them on from the pep band stands.