The Greenville Comets defeated the Pana Panthers Tuesday night in boys’ basketball, but it is the pre-game event that fans from both schools will be talking about for a long, long time.
Greenville second grader Brody Haston was a surprise guest before the varsity game.
Brody, the son of Kristy and Adam Haston, was diagnosed six months ago with liver cancer, had a liver transplant on January 26 and amazingly returned home last Friday.
After his name was announced to the basketball crowd, Brody walked out on the court to deliver the game ball to the officials. As he began the walk, all fans stood and applauded, then eventually the gym was filled with the chants of “Brody, Brody.”
Once the ball was delivered, he gave fist bumps to the game officials.
Greenville High School Athletic Director Joe Alstat said it was a special moment for everyone. He said Brody has been dealt a difficult set of cards, but said it has been an honor and blessing to watch Brody and his family persevere through the hardships. He said officials thought it would be a great way to welcome Brady home to have him at the game and let people honor him. Joe said the moment was a highlight of his career. Brody’s mom works in the Bond County Unit 2 School District and his dad is the athletic director at Pana, so it was perfect that the teams were playing each other that night.
To say the least, it was a very emotional experience for everyone in attendance.