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Verona, WI- Verona junior basketball player Ebony Nettles-Bey was playing in an AAU tournament in September when she noticed that something wasn't right. She was feeling more fatigued than usual, and decided to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was more than fatigue. Ebony was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma- a form of cancer that affects the soft tissues of the body. That's a heavy load for a 16-year-old, but she's not letting it keep her down.


"I only thought thought one thing... you're gonna die. But eventually got it out of my head. I think I'll survive it."


Ebony's been going through aggressive treatment ever since, and she's not letting the weight of cancer keep her down- or off the court.


"[Basketball] helps you not think about it. And it helps you keep going."


Verona head coach Angie Murphy knows that staying on the court is one of the best ways for Ebony to deal with a scary situation.


"Basketball is her life. It's what's keeping her motivated, keeping her positive. She's doing everything she can to stay motivated to beat this thing."


Tuesday, February 18th is the date of the "Rivals Unite" game- which will serve as a fundraiser to help Ebony and her family continue their fight. Here's the catch: the game doesn't involve Verona basketball, and it's not even being held at Verona High School. Oregon is hosting the game against Stoughton. The Panthers like to promote a cancer awareness game every year, but this time it's all about Ebony.


Oregon head coach Corey Sielaff said they couldn't wait to help a fellow hoopster- even if she doesn't play for their school. "I told the kids about it, and they were really excited. Basketball's great, competing is great, rivalries are great, but it goes so much beyond that."


Ebony can't help but smile when she's asked about an entire community rallying to her cause. "It shows that people, and actually support, and hope that you survive."


Ebony's ultimate goals are to play college basketball and meet one of her heroes... NBA star LeBron James.



 

Ebony Nettles-Bey inspires on, off the court

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