15YO battling leukemia scores on Louisville

Patrick McSweeney, a 15-year-old battling luekemia, was in the starting lineup and played two minutes for Bellarmine in an exhibition game against the University of Louisville on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center. McSweeney had two points, one rebound and one steal for the Knights.

Patrick McSweeney might have only been on the floor for two minutes of game time on Sunday, but it's two minutes he will never forget.

McSweeney, a 15-year-old St. Xavier High School student battling leukemia, was suited up and in the lineup for Bellarmine University in an exhibition game before 20,432 fans at the KFC Yum! Center.

"He's an amazing young man," Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport said.

And McSweeney made the most of the special moment Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport and Louisville coach Rick Pitino gave him.

McSweneey was introduced to a standing ovation as "the Fighting Irishman," by public address announcer Sean Moth. He wore No. 25 and went through pre-game warm ups just like the rest of the Knights did.

On the first trip down the floor, McSweeney attempted a three-point field goal from the top of the key. He then stole the ball from Terry Rozier and on the other end missed a layup, only to get the rebound and put it back in for Bellarmine's first two points.

"A great feeling," McSweeney said. "It seemed like people were talking to me. Their mouths were moving but I wasn't hearing anything. It was crazy."

McSweeney finished with two points, one rebound and one steal.

Not to mention the lasting memories.

"It's life lessons," Davenport said. "I think that's what athletics, that's what college, that's what growing up is all about. And our players learned a life lesson through a super young man, Patrick McSweeney."

U of L coach Rick Pitino called it a "very cool" moment for his team.

"Everybody in Card Nation as well as Bellarmine, we are going to have him in our prayers," Pitino said. "We're all pulling real hard for that."

McSweeney's leukemia has recurred three times and has resulted in chemotherapy, bone marrow and leukemia T-cell transplants. He will get some more treatment this week in Philadelphia.

Pitino has picked up the flight, hotel and transportation for McSweeney and his family, who will leave Monday morning for Philadelphia.

Rozier said it was special to be on the floor at that moment when McSweeney scored and called his turnover "the best turnover I will make in my life."


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