Hardcore historians of local hoops may know the name Andrew Moritz. He was a three-point specialist on Franklin High School's back-to-back championship teams in '94 and '95--the teams that featured current Dallas Maverick Jason Terry--and then a four-year player with the UW, walking on for three years before earning a scholarship as a senior.
Andrew was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer--desmoplastic small round cell cancer--and is currently receiving chemotherapy in Houston.
I played on the same spring league team as Andrew in 1994. It was basically a collection of Metro League all-stars and me, a relative scrub, so I often felt a little out of place. But everyone was welcoming, especially Andrew. He was a one-man cheering squad and comedy show, narrating the game and cracking jokes and celebrating big plays with an unbelievably sincere enthusiasm.Jason Terry was the team's star, and I can still hear Andrew yelling "JT's a baller! JT's a baller!" after Terry scored. But he was like that for everyone. When we'd practice our dunks in the lay-up lines before the game, he'd constantly be pushing for me to throw one down in a game, something I'd never done. When I finally did it, Andrew ran up to me with a giant smile on his face. "You got your boom!" he kept yelling, as he jumped up and down. He may have been more excited for me than I was.
Reading through the messages people have left on this this blog (which provides updates on how he's doing and info on how you can help) and this Facebook group, it's clear that he's brought that same goofy, exuberant generosity to everything he's done.
Thanks for making things fun, Andrew. Get well soon.