AUSTIN, Texas — On his way to varsity basketball practice in the fall of 2019, Solomon Marshall – then a freshman at St. Andrew's High School – discovered something that would change his life forever.
"I actually felt [a lump] on the way to basketball practice, on my neck," said Solomon. "So I told [my parents], and we went to the doctor a lot."
The diagnosis was cancer – synovial sarcoma, to be specific.
"It's a rare cancer that disproportionately hits adolescent boys," said Solomon's dad, Stephen.
Eight months of hard work followed that diagnosis. Thankfully, after seven rounds of chemotherapy and 32 radiation treatments, Solomon was cancer-free.
"I just had my scans done and everything came back great," said Solomon. "There's no cancer left in my body!"
Make-A-Wish of Central & South Texas and other organizations did not want Solomon's story to end there. They wanted his journey after cancer to feature his longtime dream – a backyard basketball court.
"I've always wanted a court in my backyard, and this is beyond what I could imagine," said Solomon.
"To be able to come back and play basketball is a blessing," said Solomon's dad. "To be able to come back and play basketball in an incredible facility in your own backyard is more than one could ever hope for."
Solomon said he already knows whom he will play the first game of one-on-one against on his brand-new court.
"Definitely my dad. He's been talking a lot of mess for 16 years, so I'll get him on the court and give him some buckets," joked Solomon.
In total, Solomon was gifted:
- Backyard basketball court (Sport Court)
- Suite night at upcoming San Antonio Spurs game (Austin Spurs)
- Honorary scholarship (Our Lady of the Lake University)
- Lifetime Ballogy Skills Assessment membership (Ballogy)
- Invitation to Spurs Sports Academy summer camp (Austin Spurs)
- Custom Austin Spurs jersey (Austin Spurs)