On May 4, Elochukwu Eze, a 6-foot-10 center at Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) who is drawing interest from a handful of Division I colleges, was diagnosed with a fist-sized brain tumor and had to undergo emergency surgery. Eze has agreed to give USA Today High Schools Sports exclusive access into his road to recovery by chronicling his thoughts and experiences in a blog.
On May 5 of last year I was rushed to the hospital and found out I needed to have emergency brain surgery. It was the toughest night of my life! I didn’t know whether I was going to live.
Playing basketball was not a concern at that point.
As I went through my recovery, my family, teammates and coaches were there for me. They helped me, encouraged me and cheered me on as I started to improve. I promised on my blog that I would be back on the court to play with them.
I was so happy they had my back and I wanted to have their backs as well. We made it our goal for the season to win the State Championship. Our mission was “greatness!”
On March 4, my Calvary Christian Academy basketball team played Tampa Catholic for the FHSAA 5A State Championship. I was there on the court with my teammates. I played about 16 minutes and scored two buckets.
The first basket was for my team!
It was a rebound putback that put us up 33-30 in the 3rd quarter. We went on a run from there and closed out the quarter up 41-30.
My second bucket was for me!
It was the end of the game and my teammate, Tim, drove the lane and then dished it to me on the left block. I took one step and put down a two-handed dunk!
It was a great feeling.
The game was in-hand at that point, but I had just dunked in the State Championship. It was the right finish for a season that was so challenging.
What a journey that 10 months were.
As I said, our mission was “greatness!” We won the State Championship 65-48! What a great run with my teammates. We finished the season with a record of 24-6. We saw through our season that greatness can occur in many ways – a championship, a successful season, good play between teammates and good leadership from coaches.
If we forget God who controls everything, winning the state championship will definitely be worthless. The 2017 basketball team won the first State Championship for the school. We wanted to leave behind a legacy that will be remembered on the court and off the court.
As a team, we also saw that greatness comes from and through God. 1 Chronicles 29:11 says “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”
My prayer for you is that no matter what you are going through, you can experience the greatness of God.
In my toughest night, all I could think about was Psalm 63:3- 5 “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”
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