Man battling leukemia plays in 14th Hoopfest



Posted on June 27, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 28 at 1:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--A man who was told he was not expected to live very long after a leukemia diagnosis in 2004 is still alive and inspiring those around him for Hoopfest 25. A Hoopfest team is playing in Steve Oberst’s honor.

The Oberst family had been through a lot. Oberst’s son, Connar, fought cancer in 2003 and won the battle. He was in remission in 2014. It was unknown how much time was left with his father.

 "He may be on oxygen on the court, but he's going to be there and we're going to play,” said Oberst’s best friend, Doug Wordell.

Oberst and his son played in Hoopfest in 2003 when they were both battling cancer.

Oberst had fought brain and prostate cancer in his past and was fighting leukemia in 2014.

"He's a gifted player. He'll down some shots even though he can't move much now,” said Wordell.

Oberst’s sickness had kept him off the court for three-years. He was returning with “Steve’s Minions” alongside Wordell and his wife for Hoopfest. Wordell said Oberst’s character kept him going.

"What Steve has done for me has shown me not to quit,” said Wordell.

During Oberst’s battle with cancer, he had countless teams named after him. There was even one team called “Steve’s Wannabes.”

Hoopfest 2014 marked Oberst’s and Wordell’s 14th Hoopfest together.

"One memory. I just want like one pick and roll one pick and roll and having fun and being with our family. It's about being with our family, it's about memories,” said Wordell.

Wordell said Oberst was waiting and hoping for a bone marrow transplant. He said he hoped Oberst’s story would encourage more donors.