We've all heard Chris Lofton's story of overcoming the odds at Tennessee after being rejected by the Kentucky basketball powerhouses. But today, ESPN reported that Lofton overcame something other than his college basketball career, he overcame cancer.
The diagnosis came just days after the Vols dropped the Sweet Sixteen game to Ohio State, concluding the 2006-2007 season. Lofton was randomly selected to submit to an NCAA-mandated drug test following the Long Beach State victory. Officials for the university were notified the day of the OSU game that results were positive, it was later discovered that what actually showed up on that test was a tumor marker.
Chris underwent an ultrasound on March 26th, which confirmed that the star guard had cancer. Secretive surgery was scheduled two days later in the early morning, where Lofton's parents were taken into the hospital and Bruce Pearl arrived in what was described as "semi-disguised". But Chris pushed on, and he decided early that it was something he would take straight on.
The three-point artist fought through the surgery, radiation, distress, and recovery nearly single-handedly. Those that knew about the cancer prior to the recent breakout included: Lofton's parents, the Tennessee coaches and medical staff and a handful of others.
It was so closely kept a secret, that Lofton's extended family didn't even know he had this cancer. Lofton made it set in his mind that cancer wasn't going to beat him. Chris continued the radiation, and finally met an end to the treatment.
He is now cancer free, but will have checkups for the rest of his life. He pushed through an early season slump and tried not to force anything. He will continue to try for an NBA career, which you can expect him to beat the odds. The kid has already beaten the toughest test of his life.