Athlete Fighting Terminal Cancer Returns To Hoopfest - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Athlete Fighting Terminal Cancer Returns To Hoopfest

SPOKANE, Wash. - The nation's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament is set to tip off in Spokane this weekend; and Joey Anderson, 22, doesn't want to miss it.

An athlete who also plays soccer and football, he's played in Hoopfest for 14 years, with a close group of fellow Cheney High School graduates.

"We won, we took first place a few years ago, then ever since then we've got second," Joey said. 

He's only missed Hoopfest once, in 2010, for chemo and radiation.

"When I was 19, I was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain cancer tumor," he told KHQ.

"It was a nightmare," his mother Cindy Anderson said.  "First he's got a brain tumor, then less than 24 hours later, he's having surgery, then we're hearing a few hours later he's got a year to live.  So it was just a constant black cloud for a while."

Now 22 years old, Joey is still fighting back.

He wakes up every day with a smile, and spends time with sports and his own clothing line.

"Staying busy is definitely a plus," he said.  "Just sitting around all day thinking about a tumor in my head?  No, not going to be doing that."

Doctors now say, there's not much they can do.

"It's changed me quite a bit actually.  Me and God are more together now," he added.

Despite everything he's been though, Joey's getting in his last few practices for Hoopfest 2012.  He says his favorite part of the game is watching the team come together.

A team he'll always be a part of.

"I've always felt like there's a reason for everything.  So we went home and we started the battle," his mother said.  "It's almost been a blessing because of the fact we appreciate so many more things than we did before."

Cindy says life is too short not to appreciate every moment we're given. 


And this weekend, that's exactly what Joey is doing. 

Look for him and his team on the court, as they look to take home another win for their division.

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