Cameron Cortina

SPOKANE, WA - One Gonzaga student is using Hoopfest to prepare for, of all things, brain surgery.

During Cameron Cortinas' first semester at Gonzaga, he started having hearing problems. After seeing several doctors, an MRI saw that Cameron had an acoustic neuroma brain tumor. Several options were presented to him about how to deal with the tumor, including radiation or surgery.

Cameron said his doctors warned him about the long recovery time that comes after brain surgery, so the 21-year-old came up with a plan. Play a lot of basketball, get in shape, and beat this tumor.

Cameron has been playing in Hoopfest since 3rd grade and has won a few times. But this year, he's playing to build up his endurance, because after surgery, Cameron said he'll have to re-learn how to walk, let alone run up and down the court.

 Everyday, Cameron is at the gym, or on a run, because the Monday after Hoopfest, he'll be having the operation in Spokane. Cameron said Hoopfest means more to him than Christmas, and couldn't imagine missing his favorite tournament.