LAWRENCE, Kan. — Bill Self has developed a special bond with a Lawrence teen.
“He inspires me,” Self, head Coach for the University of Kansas men’s basketball team, said of his new friend, Nicholas Parscale.
Parscale, 14, is battling brain cancer.
In February, while the Jayhawks were battling in the Big 12, Parscale asked the coach to be on his podcast. Brian Hanni, the voice of the Jayhawks, connected the two.
After the podcast taped, Self said he couldn’t stop thinking about Parscale.
“I did that with him and kind of developed a bond with him through that,” Self said
But, it's more than a bond. Self heard Parscale had recently written a book, “What I Wish I Knew Before Cancer.”
Self bought the first 100 copies.
"I am going to have all of my players read it," he said. "It's going to be a mandatory read. I've got several of them, so anybody I have – from a friend-wise or anything I hear people going through – this is something they will receive in the mail."
Beyond the book, Self visits Parscale and his family as often as possible, as the young author currently is in hospice.
“Just being able to have that relationship with someone so very special to him, and I just... I can't... I have no words,” Geri Parscale, Nicholas’ mother, said.
But those moments are enough for the Parscale family.
"Being in a place of nonverbal and having to rest so very much, but when he sees coach, you see that twinkle in his eye," Geri Parscale said, "and he knows that recognition. It's just everything."
"His legacy and his impact he is going to have moving forward will last years – I am sure decades,” Self said.
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