February 18, 2013

NDSU Finds Solace in Basketball

By Graham Hays, ESPN.com

Looking at Hannah Linz lying exhausted on the court, North Dakota State women's basketball coach Carolyn DeHoff saw an opportunity to teach a basketball lesson. Here, it seemed, was an example of the effort required to make a season successful, personified in the prone form of a player who had to come back from cancer to be on the court at all.
Practice wasn't going particularly well on the day in question, which is why Linz and her teammates found themselves on the end line waiting to run. The ensuing din of dozens of pounding sneakers was interrupted only by a series of squeaks as each player reversed direction, the same soundtrack heard in every gym in the country in the days before a season. The sprints completed, the coach called attention to the senior short on breath.

If the others wanted the kind of season to which all presumably aspire, they would be wise to follow Linz's lead.

"I really reflect back on that day because then she got up and she actually had tears in her eyes," DeHoff said. "And I didn't really think about it, what was going on, other than, you know -- here's a kid, again, who has gone through what she's gone through and gets to a certain point and can't go any further. Wants to go further but can't.

"So I just kind of felt it was that."

Click here to read the full story.

In December 2010, Graham Hays' first story on Hannah Linz -- written eight months after her initial diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma -- ran on ESPN.com. To read the story, click here.

To help defray some of the Linz family's expenses associated with treating Hodgkin's lymphoma for the second time in a little more than three years, North Dakota State established the Hannah Linz Fund. As of the first week of February, more than $6,000 had been raised. Donations can be made to the Hannah Linz Fund c/o Gate City Bank, 500 2nd Ave. N., Fargo, ND 58102. More information on contributing can be found here.

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