Last summer, the entire team worked at the family's cantaloupe farm, hard work Ed said he hoped had helped to prepare them for the big win. Sitting by the scorers' table during most home games, Ed would periodically get asked by Coach Nash to sub at a game. Nash said somehow he never remembered his jersey.
“Doc drew up a plan for me to get in the corner and shoot one night. He was joking with me,” Ed said. “I'm so proud of those boys and Doc too. It couldn't be any sweeter.”
At the pep rally, the team dedicated this season and their state championship to Ed. Diagnosed in the fall, the doctors only gave him four months to live. Seven months later he continues to prove them wrong by exceeding their predictions. Nash said he thinks the team gave Ed something to which to look forward.
“God works miracles every day and Ed's sure one of those miracles. He told me out there that he was going to live another year to see more kids play. I told him, 'Ed you're going to live a lot longer than that,'” the coach said. “And I think he will. He's a fighter just like his grandkids.”
As Ed and the other fans filtered out into the parking lot at the finish of the evening, a mob of children remained in the gym to shoot around on the baskets. Even though this year's season is finished, future generations yearn for more trips to the state championship. So does Nash, even though he once may have thought differently.
“(In 2008) we were talking about winning the state championship and what it would be like... I said, ‘When we win a state championship I'm probably going to quit.’ (That's) definitely not happening,” Nash said. “I love these guys and getting to the state championship game and winning the state championship has made me nothing more than hungry to get back there again.”