C.J. Aiken blocks shots, beat cancer
PHILADELPHIA - January 13, 2012 (WPVI) -- St. Joseph's University has more wins that they did in all of last year. A big part of that success is because of their big man, Plymouth Whitemarsh grad, C.J. Aiken, who has already won the biggest fight of his life.
CJ Aiken loves to get airborne, and he knows his dunks are electric, but it's blocking a shot that really gets a rise out of him.
"I like blocking shots. It gets the crowd into it. I hate boring games. I hate quiet crowds. So when I block a shot, the crowds go wild," said Aiken.
The 6'9" Saint Joseph's sophomore averages 4.5 blocks per game, that's second in the nation.
"He's always been gifted at blocking shots at a very early age, and he's also been able to combine the blocking of shots without fouling," says Coach Phil Martelli.
That same mentality that makes C.J. so good at blocking shots, also helped him block out the pain during the most difficult time of his life.
At the age of 7, C.J. was diagnosed with burkets lymphoma; a type of cancer.
"I hated it, chemo and everything. I just hated it, and I cried a lot," said Aiken.
He had two surgeries, endured a month-long hospital stay, and then months of chemotherapy and radiation.
A local coach vs. cancer tournament was held to benefit Aiken during his fight.
More than a decade later he's playing for Phil Martelli, arguably the biggest supporter of Coaches versus Cancer there is.
"He will become a real poster child for what can be, and the odds that you can overcome. As long as we are all pushing in the same direction in fighting that disease," said Martelli.
"I just try not to take everything so serious. I try not to stress," said Aiken. "Nothing can be that serious, especially with basketball. Just go out there and have fun."
A few months after his surgery, his mom introduced him to basketball to get him off the couch, and now he is playing on the college level.
st. joe's, sports
- Hats get women ejected from KoP Mall 24 min ago
- Warm and humid, 80s again today
- WATCH: Action News Online
- WATCH ABC is available in Philadelphia!
- Man gunned down at water ice stand 34 min ago
- Bar fight ends with 2 shot in SW Philadelphia 32 min ago
- Bicyclist shoots young man in face in SW Philadelphia 2 min ago
- Man shot in the head in Camden; suspect sought 30 min ago
- Search for Okla. tornado survivors nearly complete
- Oklahoma Tornado: How to help and avoid scams
- Local search and rescue team helping in Oklahoma
- Rob Jennings to retire after 36 Years at 6abc
- Chesco man killed longtime girlfriend, police say
- Sleep monitors promise a better night's sleep
- Man gunned down at water ice stand
34 min ago