It was considered a celebration, though no one was cheering.
On Wednesday hundreds of students, athletes, coaches and administrators gathered in The Corral to “celebrate the life” of former men’s basketball player Bradley Mosley.
Mosley passed away after a yearlong battle with renal medullary carcinoma – a rare form of kidney cancer – on Oct. 29. During his illness, he had been receiving treatment on campus at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, and his 189-pound body had been reduced to a mere 130 pounds. There have been about 40 documented cases of renal medullary, but there have also been no known survivors.
“I looked at the program,” USF Athletics Chaplain Rev. David Lane said, “and I thought it was perfect that it said, ‘We are celebrating the life of Bradley “B-Mo” Mosley,’ because that is so true. We’re here to celebrate the impact he had on all our lives.”
Added Athletic Director Doug Woolard, “We share in sorrow losing one so young, but also rejoice in the privilege in having Bradley in our lives.”
Mosley came to the men’s basketball program as a transfer from Daytona Beach Community College, where he was coached by assistant coach Frank Burnell.
“The thing everyone remembers the most about Bradley is how he was such a quiet guy,” Burnell said at the service. “But he was such a fierce competitor as well as being an overachiever. Everyone always said Bradley was too small; wasn’t strong enough.
“There were all these predictors of talent that said he couldn’t play here, but I always knew he could. He had struggles at first, but after a while, he let it be known that we had to have him on the floor.”
Mosley played every minute in 12 of the team’s last 14 games in the 2003-04 season and had 394 points in his career as a Bull, but what Burnell remembers is how Bradley always played without complaint.
“He never asked to miss practice,” Burnell said. “He never asked to come out of the game, he never asked for a day off or asked out of a drill. He went out there and gave us all he had.
“I loved him. Loved him like a son. We had our ups and downs, but I got to know why he was so quiet, and I’m going to miss him.”
Coach Robert McCullum, who brought Mosley to USF as one of his first recruits along with fellow guard James Holmes, also spoke in remembrance of Mosley.
“There is no greater love,” McCullum said, “than to lay down one’s life for a friend. That’s what Bradley did.”
McCullum recalled how Mosley, even through his pain and suffering, wanted to be with his teammates.
“Bradley yearned to return to our team,” McCullum said. “He drew strength from the team along the way, and his presence and attitude helped him envision himself being part of the team. I recall the first time we saw Bradley in months right here in The Corral, and the smiles on the faces on all our players and how uplifted they were. That was the hope and confidence Bradley gave to our team.”
There are only a few teammates and members of the men’s program who knew Mosley personally, including Holmes and senior center Solomon Jones. They described Mosley as a brother who impacted their lives.
“When I first met Bradley,” Holmes said, “he didn’t talk to me much. I said, ‘This guy must not like me much.’ Later, we became close once we moved in together, and I said to him, ‘You know, Bradley, I really didn’t like you when I first met you.’
“What was unique about Bradley is, no matter what, he would help you. Growing up, I had many sisters, but I always wanted someone I was close to, so I’d like to say thank you to (Mosley’s mother) Lisa Ferguson for blessing me with the brother I always wanted.”Jones, though vague on his words, agrees.
“We have to celebrate his life,” Jones said. “That he’s not suffering anymore; that he’s home and waiting for us. It’s just so hard losing someone so great; someone like that. That’s the type of person he was. He was my friend.”
Mosley, 22, is survived by his mother, 8-month-old daughter Arianna Mosley, fiancee Emmanuella Premier, sister Breona Mosley and brother Eddie Adams.