Blake Griffin’s best friend, Wilson Holloway, died of cancer days before the Slam Dunk Contest 2011, while today, a viral video peppered the Internet of Griffin jumping over a car to win the contest. The newly-crowned champ dedicated his win to his best pal.
It was a bitter-sweet victory when the Los Angeles Clippers power-forward took his celebrity to a whole new level by jumping over a car, sealing the win. His game had just gone turbo, but it turned somber in an instant.
Moments after he was handed the trophy, he said,Â “I want to dedicate this to my best friend who passed away.”
Blake Griffin’s best friend, Wilson Holloway, 22, died Wednesday after a courageous battle with cancer. The two were team mates atÂ Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond, according to theÂ Huffington Post.
One would go on to stardom in the NBA; the other would wage a war against a formidable foe, Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It all began three years ago when the 6’6″, 275 lb. offensive tackle at the University of Central Oklahoma in Tulsa felt short of breath after workouts. He thought it was just the growing pains of moving into the big leagues from high school to college football.
However, after a series of tests on Blake Griffin’s best friend, Wilson Holloway’s doctor said he had a softball-sized tumor in his chest. More tests would confirm the diagnosis of cancer.
Holloway immediately began aggressive chemotherapy as a form of treatment. While undergoing the stressful sessions, he continued to work out with the team. That demonstrated his will and courage to be a team player despite his odds.
Shortly after treatments began, he received the news that he was cancer-free. Blake Griffin’s best friend played in six more games before the cancer returned. He then underwent more rounds of chemotherapy, and it was then that his hair fell out.
To show their solidarity for their ailing team mate, several Golden Hurricane team mates shaved their heads.
Sadly, Wilson Holloway lost his battle to cancer this week. His victories of beating cancer two times after his diagnosis were an inspiration to his team and to those who loved him dearly.
It was only fitting that the Slam Dunk Contest 2011 be dedicated to Blake Griffin’s best friend. Attitude is everything, despite the odds. Friendship is priceless.
Photo credit: Tulsa Hurricanes
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