College basketball team drafts little girl battling cancer - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

College basketball team drafts little girl battling cancer

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A 10-year-old girl battling cancer is an inspiration to many, including a local college basketball team.

Warner Pacific College in Portland drafted Lexy delos Reyes to join the Lady Knights.

Officially, she was signed as the honorary sixth man, but she's embraced as a teammate by the players, coaches and fans.

"What surprises me most is the amount of hope she has and the strength," said player Jessica Thoens. "I've never known someone who's so strong. Especially being so young."

When Lexy was just 14 months old, the left side of her body went limp. Doctors then found a brain tumor. In nine years, she's had nine brain surgeries, five years of chemotherapy and two medical trials.

During one, she became so unhappy she stopped eating. The next time, she lost her sight. While receiving treatment in Boston, a non-profit group called Team Impact matched her up with the Holy Cross women's basketball team.

The experience was so great for Lexy, she was connected to the team at Warner Pacific College closer to home.

Her family says it's overwhelming to see her so happy in the gym. The team feels the same way about what she's teaching them.

"I think it just changes their whole outlook straight away when she walks in the gym, and she's limping and someone has to carry her up the steps and do all that," said coach Matt Gregg.

Lexy has her own Lady Knights jersey with her name on the back, along with blue and white pompoms she uses throughout the games. When asked about her favorite part of being on the team, Lexy answered quickly.

"They're really awesome," she said. "And they're really kind."

There's no cure for Lexy's brain tumor, but that doesn't stop her from proudly proclaiming her motto, "kicking cancer's booty!"

The little girl's family is committed to raising awareness and money to fight children's cancer. For more information, go to Lexy's Facebook page.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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