When the Houston Rockets wasted precious little time in battering the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, they may have been inspired by 17-year-old Carly Wright, a young woman whose commitment to "kicking cancer's ass" earned her a celebratory night to remember at Toyota Center.
The Texas high-school senior was diagnosed with bone cancer earlier this year, beginning a long and difficult journey of surgery, chemotherapy, hospital stays and struggle. Her response to that struggle — "I don't want to know statistics, percentages or stages. I just want to know what I have to do to kick cancer's ass" — has been bold and heartening, and her perseverance was rewarded Tuesday when she got up close and personal with her beloved Rockets during their pre-game shootaround, thanks to the Make-A-Wish program. From Jenny Dial Creech at the Houston Chronicle:
On Tuesday, she was in high spirits as she met the entire Rockets squad. The team signed jerseys and basketballs for Wright while “Welcome Carly Wright” was displayed on the large screen. During the game, she sat in owner Les Alexander’s courtside seats. All the starters high-fived her as they were introduced before the game.
In the first half, a video aired with Wright’s story on the big screen. The crowd erupted and gave her a standing ovation after she talked about her battle with cancer.
“It’s crazy that all this is happening,” Wright said. “Everyone has been so nice. It is a dream come true.”
Here's the aforementioned video:
Wright's "fan girl dreams" came true as she met (and received gifts from) the backcourt of James Harden and Jeremy Lin, and came face-to-face with her favorite player, Chandler Parsons, who's recently taken to sporting a tribute to Wright during games:
[Parsons] has been wearing a white wristband that reads “#KillCancerCarly” and “Do It Wright.”
Someone gave him the wristband at a game a few days ago. He looked up the Twitter hashtag and learned about her. He had no idea she would be coming to Toyota Center on Tuesday.
“It really puts things in perspective,” Parsons said. “It was an honor to meet her, and I hope she had a great time with us. That was a cool experience for all the players.”
She surely enjoyed the Rockets' 109-85 victory, but might have enjoyed this post-game shoutout from Parsons (who scored 11 points and dished six assists in 30 minutes) even more:
— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) November 20, 2013
- - - - - - -