The Wilson High School girls basketball team lost a close game to Timberline last Saturday, yet they still went home winners because the game became an event to help three students stricken with cancer.
Top-ranked teams like Central Valley, Lake Stevens, and Gig Harbor, hit the hardwood at Wilson last weekend to play for a great cause. The tournament featured eight teams, plenty of three-pointers and three posters, which read:
"Why these kids. Why these people, but I think its something we never really know why, bad things happen to good people, it's just kind of how the world is," Wilson senior Morgan Greene said.
Greene is a four-time all-league soccer player and is one of three students at Wilson who received devastating news last year.
"I had stage three Hodgkin's Lymphoma," Morgan said.
"I got diagnosed a day after my birthday," Tranhvan Nguyen said.
Nguyen found out last December she had cancer.
"I was shocked. Then I cried. I didn't cry at all, but then when they told me that, I broke out. My mom broke out and it was horrible," said Nguyen
But Tranhvan and Morgan were not alone. Fellow senior Jayson Ray also had cancer. Three students. Same school. Same class. All active in ASB, and all now fighting for their lives.
Wilson head girls basketball coach Michelle Birge wanted to help.
"It was dear to my heart because, obviously, we have Jayson, Morgan, and Tranhvan here who are fighting cancer and doing it in an unimaginable way. They are still going to class and still competing in high school sports and making no excuse and really being relentless in the fight," Birge said.
So the Lady Rams held the first ever Assist For Life Fight Cancer Basketball Classic, with all proceeds going toward the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It raised $3,000.
"It definitely shows community strength and that they are thinking and caring about people and they are wanting to connect with people," Morgan said.
"All I could think about is my cup runneth over. The seeds that I've planted in these young ladies over the years is bigger than the game of basketball," Birge said. "We're planting life lessons from the game of basketball, and I thought they took a hold of those lessons and really shined bright. That's what we talked about. Thank you one, giving of your time and, two, for being part of something bigger than yourself."
Thirty players worked non-stop making sure the day was a success. Every worker was a volunteer. Even Morgan worked in concessions and then took time to thank the crowd with Tranhvan by her side.
"Our class as a whole is now just closer together," Morgan said.
The news for Morgan and Tranhvan is good. After months of chemo and radiation, the two girls are both in remission. But Jason is still fighting with an entire school by his side.
"Always have optimistic minds that throughout everything. even if you are having a bad day and they're drugging you up with morphine, you just need to be happy," says Tranhvan.
"Just keep fighting and everyone loves him and is praying for him," Morgan said about Jason.