Blake Griffin came out a solid way to win the first All-Star weekend, but all I could do was cry.
Wednesday after the Clippers win over the Timberwolves in Minneapolis, Griffin has his head in his hands in the locker room after receiving a call from a friend at home had died.
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The friend turns out to be Wilson Holloway, a high school teammate and the Tulsa football player who died Wednesday of complications of Hodgkin's disease.
Holloway, who is profiled on ESPN.com in 2008 to fight cancer, as the 2008th
Griffin was a strong supporter of the struggle Holloway. As Holloway, 22, was nominated for the 2010 prize a year ago, RD, Griffin tweeted to 50,000 plus followers: "My son is growing @ Wilson Holloway 4, Champion Award, as well as rare diseases need ur vote."
In January 2009, Holloway was awarded the Courage Award from the Football Writers Association of America, after beating Hodgkin's lymphoma twice in the previous 10 months. His infectious smile and optimism inspired those around him.
"I am so optimistic and so happy, I'll never let me down. The whole mentality is to let me win it," Holloway said after receiving the award.
"I just kind of went in my life and did everything I wanted to do it slowly and not me."
Holloway and Griffin attended Oklahoma Christian High School, where Holloway played football and basketball. After the Saints won their fourth consecutive basketball title in March 2007, Griffin, who has 22 points and seven rebounds in the championship game, credited his teammates. Holloway was one of them, who added 14 points and nine rebounds.
"A lot of teams to ignore the rest of the players," said Griffin, the Tulsa World. "The teams I think the only male. But I know what the five guys that can score instead of one."
Holloway went to Tulsa to play football, the first year, redshirting in 2007. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive against diagnosed with cancer in March 2008, but he received treatment and has played in six games the following season.
"The toughest fighter I have ever known", former Tulsa offensive coordinator Herb Hand said on Twitter after the death of Holloway, the Oklahoman. "A huge influence on the Earth is ... I love you and miss you."
Griffin did not immediately available for comment, but the Clippers spokesman Rob Raichle ESPNLosAngeles.com said that he plans All-Star weekend in Los Angeles will not change. He is scheduled to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday and play in the All-Star Game on Sunday.