Kid Survives Tumor, Cancer But Gets Cut From Hoop Team | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Kid Survives Tumor, Cancer But Gets Cut From Hoop Team

(Editor's Note: This story has nothing to do with the Celtics or NBA, but it really struck a nerve with me this morning, hence the post)

I'm all for competitive youth sports. In fact, I despise organizations that refuse to recognize winning and losing. However, there is a time and place for compassion in youth sports.

Conor Smith is a 13-year old from Minnesota who spent the last two years battling a brain tumor and leukemia. Chemo treatment forced him to miss the entire 2007 season, but he toughed it out and was able to play last season.

He missed tryouts this year because he was wearing casts on both legs to ease stiffened calf muscles caused by the chemo. The casts are coming off next week, but it's too late for Conor, he was one of four kids cut by the league.

"Could there be an exception, I guess there could have been but we try
to keep everything according to our policies as best we can," said Beth
Koenig, who co-directs the basketball association with her husband

Damn, now that's a ruthless move. And that opinion is coming from a hardened a-hole like myself.

Not a single coach in the league stood up and said,"'ll take Conor, because he'll be a great role model for my team?"

I appreciate uber-competitive leagues and applaud efforts to teach kids tough love, but all bets are off when cancer is involved. Give the kid a freakin' break.

There's one more kick to the nuts for the Smith family; Conor's dad, Tim, was told he's no longer needed as a coach.

(Via Sports By Brooks and

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  • For those wondering… I did loan Chuck the official Red’s Army soul today. We’ve only got one… so now I’ve got to be the douche today.
    Actually… this story is fucked up. People don’t have common sense. Jeez.

  • Beth

    For some reason, this story reminds me of Leon Powe.

  • 11rings

    What is the league think it’s doing by cutting 4 kids from the league??? They couldn’t find space for those 4 kids that want to play ball in the ENTIRE LEAGUE? As for cutting the kid that’s been battling cancer, that’s just ridiculous. That kid is a hero. I can’t think of the words to properly describe the adults that cut him because the usually names are too good for them.

  • 11rings

    usual names
    I’m riled up now.

  • Lakerhater

    Take it from a long time youth coach – youth sports would be great if not for the parents and self important league officials. EVERY kid deserves a chance to compete. Maybe they only get a few minutes of garbage time, but if they make every practice and follow the team rules they deserve a chance, just like the team studs get. I f*cking hate stories like this, kids need a positive outlet and nothing develops character and heart better than sports. The league officials appear to posses neither.
    Move to Seattle kid, I’ll take a chance on you.