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Blake Hundley is one lucky 7-year-old.
Hundley, a huge UK basketball fan, once won a basketball signed by Cats head coach John Calipari.
Last week, his name was drawn to play the NBA 2K video game with Terrence Jones, former national championship-winning Kentucky basketball player and current Houston Rocket.
But even more than that, Hundley is a cancer survivor.
Diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer, in July of 2012, Hundley has had to go through surgery to remove a tumor as well as radiation and six months of chemotherapy.
Now in remission, Hundley has started to regain his energy. He still has a feeding tube, but the hope is that that will be gone in the next couple months, according to Hundley’s grandmother, Debbie Long.
A few months ago, it would have seemed impossible for Hundley to run toward a chair and play video games, but that’s exactly what happened when Jones came to Taylorsville for an autograph signing at Toytopia.
“When he heard his name, he just took straight off to that seat and got ready to play,” Long said of when Hundley’s name was drawn for the experience. “He was really serious about winning. His tongue was sticking out from where he was concentrating and everything. Terrence Jones only beat him by three points, but Blake said he would have won if he had just one more minute to play.”
Although Hundley narrowly lost the game, he got a free Jones autograph, pictures with the former Kentucky star and a chance to chat with a current NBA player, who gave him a high-five at the end of the day.
It wasn’t the first time Hundley had met a Kentucky basketball star. He once waited in line for two hours at the mall in Louisville to meet Anthony Davis, former Player of the Year at UK and a current New Orleans Pelican. Now that Hundley’s hair is growing back from his months of chemotherapy, he wants to grow a unibrow, the style that Davis became known for during his days in Lexington.
Unibrow or not, Hundley is getting stronger by the day, according to Long. His experience with Jones simply gave Hundley the chance to be the energetic 7-year-old he has always been on the inside.
“All we want is for Blake to be happy,” Long said. “When he sees somebody like that… Jones is kind of like a hero or a celebrity to Blake. It was great for him to be that happy, especially after everything he’s been through.”