College Athletes with Diabetes
During March, the entire country becomes a basketball fan as the excitement of NCAA basketball is impossible to escape. But as the “Madness” heats up, two headliners in this year’s tournament have already defined themselves as winners.
Every child with type 1 diabetes should know about Adam Morrison, the junior forward for Gonzaga University’s basketball team. He’s the leading scorer in Division I of the NCAA, averaging 28 points per game. He’s had five games with more than 40 points this season. If he decides to go professional, he could be the #1 draft pick.
But Adam Morrison is not your typical athlete. He has had type 1 diabetes since eighth grade. There’s a great article about him from ESPN’s website, and every parent of a child with type 1 should print it out and share it with their child:
Morrison finished his season Thursday night with Gonzaga’s loss to UCLA in the NCAA tournament, but his future is very bright. Once you learn about this great athlete with a terrific attitude, you’ll be saying what his fans say about him and his 1970s moustache: “Can’t stop the ‘stache!”
And as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, I’m always on the lookout for members of our parent community who are doing well. Coach Jim Larranaga – and his team, the George Mason University Patriots, are one of the Cinderella stories of the tournament. His relatively unknown team stomped Michigan State and defending champions UNC Tarheels, two powerhouses of the tournament.
Coach Larranaga’s son, Jon, has had type 1 since he was a teenager, and played on his father’s team before playing professional basketball in Europe and becoming a successful businessman. Jon was the speaker at this year’s Night of Hope Gala in Washington, D.C. to benefit the JDRF, and he’s a terrific athlete with a great attitude.
“Coach L” – as he’s known locally – has raised a lot of money over the years for diabetes research with his annual “Coach L’s shoot-a-thon” that combines diabetes education and a fun day of basketball for kids. No matter how Coach L’s “road to the final four” turns out, he’s a winner!
Published On: March 24, 2006