9-year-old turns dream into reality, signs letter of intent with MU basketball
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Marquette men's basketball got a new team member tonight. The program helped make a little boy's dream come true in the process.
His name is Larry Reetz. He hails from Kenosha. And he might not be what you'd expect at just 4-foot-2, but coach Shaka Smart couldn't be happier welcoming him to the team.
At 4-foot-2, Larry Reetz might not have the height, but the Kenosha third grader's got spunk and a positive outlook.
"Yea we pride ourselves as a program on having a lot of energy, but Larry definitely sets the bar on that," said Marquette men's basketball head coach Shaka Smart.
The entire team showed up for this, and the table was set with foam fingers, cupcakes and tiny basketballs and a pretty important paper.
This young basketball player's getting to do something 10 years early -- signing a letter of intent to join the Golden Eagles.
National non-profit "Team Impact" set it up. They connect children facing serious illness with their college team.
"Because with their medical journeys they're so isolated and so we want to kind of give them that chance and space where they can feel supported and their whole families can feel supported," said Kiernan McGeehan of Team Impact.
In 2020, Larry Reetz was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor.
"We spent the night in the hospital and his heartbeat was going down. It was looking grim and then we went to the hospital in Milwaukee, Children's, and on the ambulance ride up there he quit breathing," said Greg Reetz, Larry's dad.
He's been fighting this battle for two years, with chemo and radiation.
"He still has his port in, and he did get his feeding tube taken out a couple months ago and he's looking back to his old self," said Greg Reetz.
"Can you tell me what you've gone through already? Well cancer. What's that been like? Ugh, it was a little bit tricky. How so? But I crushed it!" said Larry Reetz.
And now he's crushing it on the court -- with help from his buddies Bowser and Yoshi -- and a whole new support team behind the three of them.
Larry will be allowed to attend all team practices and shoot arounds, and even on game days he's even invited to pre-and-post game locker room time.