POSTED: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 11:16pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 5:14pm
St. Amant, La (NBC33) — St. Amant basketball Coach Gary Duhe roams the hardwood Thursday, glad to be back where he belongs, but he's completely oblivious to the tribute set to take place in his honor.
"Makes me feel he's dedicated to the game and working for something," said Brandon Guillory, a junior player on the basketball team.
Just seven months ago, Coach Duhe was diagnosed with throat cancer. During his six weeks of treatment, he lost his hair, and he lost a lot of weight, but he never lost his will to fight.
"Everything now -- bless the Lord -- is in remission," Coach Duhe said. "I lost my hair, it grew back, I lost weight and I'm trying to get it back."
During halftime of the jamboree, players, cheerleaders and the athletic department at St. Amant surprised Coach Duhe by recognizing the inspiration he's been, both on and off the court.
"Sets great example for the team, and the program we stand for," Guillory said.
Never give up is a phrase made famous by another basketball coach, Jim Valvano, who eventually lost his fight with cancer. The words are printed on a banner the team presented to Coach Duhe. The Coach is back now, with a different outlook and approach..
"Perspective I have isn't as cutthroat as it used to be," Coach Duhe said, while laughing. "Good thing is we get to play and practice everyday."
With the season dedicated to their coach, the players are motivated to compete, everyday, and never give up.
"Give it my all," said team captain Deqwon Coleman. "He gave all to make sure he came back, so I'll give it my all."