The ETSU men’s and women’s basketball programs participated in a Make-A-Wish celebration for a local boy named Levi last week.
Levi is a 12-year-old boy who has been battling a malignant brain tumor since 2019. He was taken to St. Jude for testing and treatment where they discovered that the tumor is inoperable. Levi goes in for routine doctor’s visits, has regular vision checks to make sure nothing else is being impaired and is on chemo twice a day along with taking other medications. An avid basketball fan, Levi was surprised with a basketball court, featuring a logo with his name in the Los Angeles Lakers colors.
“It’s been hard. When we first learned of Levi’s tumor it was an emotional rollercoaster,” said Levi’s mother Tammany Markland. “There have been a lot of ups and downs and then always having the unknown. Levi has handled everything so well and has the greatest team of doctors taking care of him. I have teared up a few times today seeing all of this support from the community and the ETSU basketball teams. The community has been amazing. It’s been awesome to see all of the support.
“We were shocked by all of the support. We don’t have a lot of family so this support has been great. For people who don’t know you to come out and spend some time with Levi says a lot about how much they care about this community. It’s been emotional. To see Levi interacting with the players and see the players treating him like he’s part of the team is really special. Having these players come out and visit Levi has been his dream.”
Levi was overwhelmed with the support by both men’s and women’s programs.
“I was excited when I heard about the teams coming out to visit,” he said. “I really love basketball. I was nervous at first because I have never met the players, but it’s cool to have them out here today. I am thankful that they took time out of their day to come play basketball with me.”
The Buccaneer basketball teams brought an ETSU Athletics gift pack for Levi and plan to invite him and his family to a game this season.