Support pours in for Verona HS bball player battling cancer - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Support pours in for Verona HS bball player battling cancer

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VERONA, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- A standing-room only crowd packed the gymnasium at Verona High school Thursday for the girls basketball game between the home team Wildcats and Middleton.

But in addition to cheering on the two teams, those in the stands were showing support for Ebony Nettles-Bey.

Nettles-Bey, a junior, was diagnosed with stage four cancer after transferring to Verona from Madison West High School last fall.

The student body and fans at Verona, as well as at schools around the team's athletic conference, has rallied behind her since.

"This is awesome," said Katrina Lemon, Ebony's mom. "I'm blessed. Everyone is blessed."

Many in the stands Thursday wore t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan 'Beat Cancer' and bearing Nettles-Bey's number 10 on the back.

Lemon said her daughter told her more than 1-thousand of the shirts have been sold.

"The shirts were made, initially, for the girls' varsity basketball team for their warm ups," said senior Ryan Pynnonen, who led the student section in cheers during the course of the game.

"Then they were being sold during school," he said. "Everyone started to buy them."

Pynnonen said the t-shirts are one way the crowd shows Nettles-Bey she has their support. Another is through chanting her name -- which students did immediately before tip-off Thursday.

"Everyone has her back," Pynnonen said.

Students have also started a campaign on the social media site, Twitter, calling for Nettles-Bey to have a chance to meet NBA star LeBron James. Using the hashtag #LebronMeetEbony, people around the world are hoping the Miami Heat forward will take notice.

"The whole world knows who LeBron is," Pynnonen said. "Now everyone knows who Ebony is too."

Kurt Campbell, the President of the school's booster club and parent of a girls basketball player himself, said his daughter and the rest of Nettles-Bey's teammates have learned some important life lessons this seasons.

"Life is short. These moments are precious," he said. "It's about understanding what's important in life."

"Basketball is not the most important thing," Campbell said. "The most important things are people."

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