Team dedicates season to Duluth mother battling cancer


Despite a losing season, the Duluth Marshall boys basketball team has something to celebrate.

Betsy Kneepkens has spent many nights in the high school gym, cheering on her son, Adam.

But this season, the 17-year-old junior is on the court supporting his mother, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Kneepkens was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and began chemotherapy on Dec. 14. That evening, at Marshall's home game against Hinckley-Finlayson, the team came out wearing pink socks and came up with the idea to dedicate the season to Adam's mother.

The Hilltoppers have been slowly decimating, losing players to injuries and school transfers. Out of their 13 original varsity players, just seven remain.

Even though Marshall is just 1-23, the team is learning a valuable life lesson.

"This has taught them how to deal with adversity and changes that come up in their lives, and how to navigate through those obstacles, while staying positive at the same time,” Coach Nathan Winesett tells the newspaper. "Playing basketball is a microcosm for other things in life, so they developed some good life skills.”

Kneepkens, mother of six, has 10 more weeks of chemotherapy, followed by surgery and radiation. She hopes to be back in the stands next season in remission.

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