For the Love of the Sport

1 decade 9 months 4 weeks ago Sunday, February 18 2007 Feb 18, 2007 Sunday, February 18, 2007 10:40:25 PM CST February 18, 2007 in Sports
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Iberia's basketball coach Matt Pugh is in his first season and he looks at senior Cody Brumley as an inspiration.

"Good shooter. Handles the ball for us a little bit. Knows the game really well. That's probably his biggest asset to us," said head coach Matt Pugh.

This past summer Cody's senior season almost ended before it started.

At first it was kind of scary. I didn't know what was going on. I thought I had just hurt myself playing basketball or something," recalled Iberia Senior Cody Brumley.

"I really can't tell you that. It's a feeling I hope you never have to feel. It's the worst feeling in the world," said Cody's father Doug Brumley.

"It is what it is. It's cancer," said Cody Brumley.

He was diagnosed with Testicular cancer and had surgery to remove the tumor, but a catscan showed it spread to Cody's lymph nodes and lungs. Cody's seen all this before.

"My brothers both had it and my step dad had it. He had leukemia. It's still a shocker because you never think it's going to happen to you," said Cody.

So Cody watched from the sidelines. In practices he could barely run up and down the court more than once. It was his hoop dream that gave him all the motivation he needed.

"That was his biggest concern through it all, is when is he going to play," remarked coach Pugh.

"That was my main worry. Am I going to be able to play ball this year. They're like possibly. We don't know at this point yet. I feel bad for it, but I was always on top of my nurses and doctors. I want to play ball," said Cody.

Brumley battled through four cycles of chemo and only three months after getting diagnosed Cody returned to the court.

"You can't buy that high. It's wonderful. Especially knowing that you went through all that before and you still made it back in time to play this season," said Cody.

"When I think about Cody I think about a kid that has defined the word perseverance," stated coach Pugh.

But getting back on the basketball court isn't Brumley's only dream come true. The Lake Ozark Area Dream Factory granted his wish and sent him to the Daytona 500.

"This young man has battled this disease so courageously. He's kind of an inspiration to everybody," remarked Carole Olivarri of the Lake Ozark Dream Factory.

"I always said before I died I was going to go to the Daytona 500. That time almost came so I might as well do it while I can," said Cody.

He can laugh about it now, but Brumley truly understands what it means to have a dream come true.

"It was never 'How's my body or am I going to live?' It's when am I going to play ball again," said Cody.

Cody cares so much about basketball. He skipped a chance to get to Daytona on Friday to see the truck race because he didn't want to miss a game on Friday night. Instead he left early Saturday morning.

If interested in helping the Lake Ozark Region Dream Factory, contact Linda Clark at 573-348-3958. Kids from three to 18 with any critical or chronic illness are eligible for dreams.

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