Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Sad Loss For The Hokies

It’s not your typical story of inspiration and it doesn’t have a happy ending.

After battling cancer for nearly 4 years, former Virginia Tech basketball player Allen Calloway passed away Sunday morning in High Point, N.C., he was 25 years old.

In 2005, Calloway was diagnosed with alveolar soft part carcinoma, a rare soft tissue disease that was found in Allen’s left calf. The cancer was inoperable, interwoven as it was with blood vessels, and eventually spread to his lungs and later his brain.

Enduring treatments that left him weak and nauseous, he put up a bold front continuing to work towards his degree and trying to help his teammates. He was always quick with a smile and filled with laughter. He exhibited courage and maturity that belied someone so young, and so unfairly targeted by a disease that knows no bounds.

Calloway played in nearly every game his first three seasons in Blacksburg. His most successful year on the court coming in the 2003-2004 campaign when he was second on the team in blocked shots and averaged 3.7 points per game and 2.9 rebounds.

During his senior season, weakened by treatments, he was limited to just 7 minutes of game action. Despite not being able to play, Calloway continued to cheer on his teammates as he served as a pillar of strength. Somewhat fittingly, he made the only shot he attempted that season.

In the spring of 2006, Calloway developed brain tumors that required three surgeries. He managed to persevere and join his class at graduation ceremonies that May, later completing work on his degree in residential property management.

The Hokies will honor Calloway by wearing a special patch on their uniforms the rest of the season, a fitting tribute to a great Hokie.

"Allen's spirit was very special," head coach Seth Greenberg said. "He was just a joy to be around. Allen Calloway made everyone's day better. ... He was an amazing, amazing young man."

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