Game Changer: Casey Kruk, Pisgah Basketball
Updated: Tuesday, December 10 2013, 12:41 PM EST
The basketball team at Pisgah is more together than they've ever been. They are playing for their leader, their coach who's battling for more than just wins and losses.
"Always, always ballfake! Ready, go!"
Casey Kruk needs to coach basketball now more than ever before in his life.
"We gotta control a little better."
He's doing everything he can to control his emotions while dealing with a difficult situation.
"If you can catch it, catch it."
Hunter Wike says, "He's a role model for all of us. We see how he's gone through rough situations. It's inspiring how he's battled back."
Coach Kruk beat testicular cancer when he was 23 years old. Now he's been diagnosed with a tumor in his lower abdomen. He's already started chemotherapy in order to shrink the size of the tumor.
Casey Kruk says, "You have to put in your mind that this is something you can beat, you will beat, and that the doctors have what's best in mind for you."
He's decided to keep coaching at Pisgah even while going through his treatments.
"Somebody might want to guard him."
He says he needs to feel normal, and he needs to be with his team.
Casey Kruk says, "This is what I do. I can't imagine sitting at home and wondering what's going on. This is where I belong."
Luke Notestine says, "When I asked Coach Kruk if he would be the tumor, he looked me in the eye and emphatically said, 'Yes!' A big reason for his conviction and his confidence is the unwavering support he gets from not only his players, but also from the entire Pisgah community."
McKinley Brown says, "It means a lot to us. Him going through all that he's going through. Coming everyday, going through practice, games, films. It just means a whole lot to us that he is actually here with us going through the season with us."
Jesse Anderson says, "He has the confidence in every team. Even if we fail, he shows us that we can get right back up."
Casey Kruk says, "The love you give to everybody else. When it starts coming back, it's amazing."
What's even more amazing is the incredibly positive attitude that Coach Kruk has shown toward his players and toward his community.