Lofton's story makes
Chris Lofton

Posted May 29, 2008

The inspirational story of Tennessee basketball star Chris Lofton, who played his entire senior season while fighting off the effects of radiation therapy for testicular cancer, has found its way onto, the website for Sports Illustrated magazine, features a nice “Inside College Basketball” piece on Lofton by columnist Luke Winn. Most of the information is a rehash of events Vol fans already know, but there is one comment from Lofton regarding what Winn calls “the outpouring of support from Tennessee fans” that bears sharing.

"A lot of people told me I was an inspiration to cancer survivors," Lofton told Winn. "They couldn't believe I played through it."

As previously reported, Lofton was not invited to the NBA pre-draft camp currently underway in Orlando, a snub apparently stemming from the sub-par senior season he had while battling courageously to regain his strength and stamina. That means the ex-Vol faces an uphill struggle to make an NBA roster. Winn isn't counting him out, however, as the final paragraphs of his column clearly suggest:

“This spring, he's trying to play his way back into the Chris Lofton of old and land an NBA roster spot, as improbable as that outcome may seem. Lofton said he's amenable to playing in Europe if things don't pan out; he just wants to find a way to make a living playing basketball.

“I still wonder, though, if that couldn't happen in the NBA. I watched the first round of predraft camp games on TV Wednesday, and saw players such as (North Carolina's Wayne) Ellington struggle mightily to knock down pro-length three-pointers. It's a skill valuable enough to keep a player like (David) Wesley, who was a 6-foot tall gunner out of Baylor in 1992, in the league for a more than a decade. Lofton had that range as a junior. Who's to say he couldn't find it again? Who's to say he's not capable of rediscovering it in time for individual workouts, and becoming a surprise second-rounder? All those who wondered what was wrong are pulling for him now, hoping that being written off is the next thing that Chris Lofton overcomes.”

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