Beating Cancer as a Team

Posted at: 02/09/2014 10:49 PM
Updated at: 02/10/2014 10:08 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- We first introduced you to Alex Scrabeck last February. He was a basketball player at Fillmore Central high school, and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. At that time, not only did Alex have to begin chemotherapy, he had to stop playing the game he loved. It's now been a year since his diagnosis.

“It sounded pretty fun so I thought why not try it and everyone just started loving it. Everyone would actually come early to the games just to come see the warm ups,” said Fillmore Central junior Alex Scrabeck.
Before the game even begins, Fillmore Central fans pack the gym to see a show. The star of that show? He doesn’t have the most points, rebounds, or steals but he is the inspiration behind the team, Alex Scrabeck.

“He brings a sense of determination to the team, where they can kind of overcome whatever they need to overcome in a game,” said head Coach Aaron Mensink.

While the team is warming up, Alex makes his way onto the court and leads the final drill.
“Alex stands in the middle, he points forwards, backwards, side-to-side, and we do our defensive shuffle and then Alex slaps the floor and we all slide towards him. It’s kind of our tribute to him,” said teammate Logan Masters.

This isn’t the first time the team has followed Alex’s lead.
Around this time last season, the guys all shaved their heads, to show their support as he lost his hair to chemotherapy.

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

Fast forward a year and Alex is now cancer free, something he says he may not have accomplished without his teammates.

“What didn’t they do? I mean they were all just really great friends to me. They just helped me every step of the way,” said Scrabeck.

“Once he got cancer it was really hard for us, hard for our whole grade, the team, but we just got through it. Everybody supported him, everybody helped him and we got through it together,” said teammate Jordan Miller.

While Alex values his teammates for what they’ve done for him, they say Alex has done just as much for them.

“It helps us get through games and in tough times you know we get on the bench and we’re all down after a bad play and he’s just there to pick us right up,” said Miller.

“This team has been very resilient when it comes to taking a loss. They see the bigger picture now,” said Mensink. 

And while Alex is thankful that he was able to be on the court this year, next year he’s looking forward to getting back in the game.

“I’m really excited for next year. It’s going to be wonderful, it’s just going to be really fun,” said Scrabeck.

Alex is still working on gaining back his full strength so he can get out on the court, but in the meantime he has already begun doing other activities he enjoys, such as performing in One-Act plays.