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Remembering a ‘brother’

He beat many odds on and off the court.

But after a yearlong battle with cancer, USF men’s basketball player Bradley Mosley died early Saturday morning at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach.

He was 22.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Bradley, and it is an extremely difficult time for us as a team,” coach Robert McCullum said in a press release. “There are no words to express our feelings and Bradley’s impact on this team. Our prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”

On Nov. 8, 2004, Mosley was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, a rare form of kidney cancer, which has had close to 40 known cases with no known survivors.

Mosley survived almost a year to the day, which is more than nine months longer than the average expectancy doctors give patients at the time of diagnosis.

After missing all of the Bulls’ last season in Conference USA in which the team went 14-16, Mosley had been receiving treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center on campus, which was leaving him weak and had diminished his 6-foot-2, 189-pound body to a mere 139 pounds.

Last year’s team donned “B-Mo” patches with the number 12 and a yellow ribbon on their jerseys, and had inspired play toward the end of season with upset wins over Charlotte, Houston and Cincinnati, with Mosley on the bench and attending practices.

In an Oracle interview in January, Mosley stated: “I just try to think of (getting better) in my own way. Just stay positive and just know that I can beat (the cancer). If (Lance Armstrong) can do it, then so can I. He’s been an inspiration to me. As long as you have faith in yourself that you can do anything, that’s basically my motivation. Just to beat the odds. Now I’m beating the odds and just believing every day that I can beat this thing.”

His positive attitude and devotion to the Bulls was inspirational to those who knew him the best on a men’s basketball team that returns no starters.

“I grew up as an only son,” said center Solomon Jones, who played with Mosley at Daytona Beach Community College, “and when I met him at Daytona, I felt like he was one of my brothers. Now, it feels like everything I do, I gotta do it for him.”

No official plans have yet been made to dedicate this season to Mosley, nor have any funeral service arrangements or plans to retire his number to the rafters of the Sun Dome.

However, his teammates feel differently about where their dedication goes.

“This really put things in perspective,” senior James Holmes said. “We already knew we were going to have a tough season ahead of us. This here, though, shows you can’t take stuff for granted. It really motivates us to get back on track.

“It is only right to dedicate the season to him. I figured I was going to do that anyway, whether he was here or not.”

Added Jones, “Personally, for me, I want to (dedicate the season to him).”

Mosley spent two seasons at DBCC before transferring to USF, where he played in all 40 minutes in 12 of the team’s last 14 games. He had 394 points in his career as a Bull.

“We made our first visit (to USF) together,” Holmes said. “We roomed together. And he and (former players) Marlyn (Byrant), Terrence (Leather) and Brian (Swift) and Brandon (Brigman) were all like brothers to me. But the thing about Bradley was that if you needed something from him, he’d do it for you. Anything you needed, he (had) your back.”

Players such as Jones and Holmes say they will miss Mosley, and even after having to go through practice with his passing on their shoulders, they remember Mosley for the kind of person he was off the court, more than the basketball player they played with.

“Basketball was a big part of him,” Holmes said. “This has been really hard to deal with. I have to admit, I really didn’t want to play at all. But I did, because I know that’s what he’d want. This is going to make me – and (the team) – stronger. Knowing who he was and what his personality was like helps.”

Jones remembers the friendly person Mosley was to just about everyone.

“He should be right out there with us,” Jones said. “He had so much kindness, that kid. I know some people that probably got mad at him, but he’d come back and just kill you with kindness.

“He made a big impression on me; shaped me to who I am in a big way. Every day he used to work hard in practice. Harder and harder, every day. He’d never have that day where he’d let something get to him. He used to make me – make everyone around him – feel better. That’s just who he was.”

Mosley is survived by his mother, Lisa Ferguson, sister Breona Mosley and brother Eddie Adams.