If you recall, last May we made mention of a heartwarming story coming out of Central Michigan. Shortly after signing with CMU in February of 2013, Derrick Hunt was diagnosed with leukemia and was told that he’d be forced to sit out that season. Hunt vowed to return to the playing field, while the university vowed to honor his scholarship.
The running back did return, playing in the spring game earlier this year. Unfortunately, the leukemia returned as well, forcing the player to miss a second straight season as he underwent additional chemotherapy. As the Chips prepare to play Western Kentucky in the Popeyes Bahama Bowl Christmas Eve, though, Hunt will be a part of the team in the postseason.
According to the school, Nash will serve as the honorary captain for the Chips in their postseason game. Head coach Dan Enos said in a statement that the NCAA, as well as his doctors, signed of recently on allowing Nash to perform the ceremonial duties.
And, it should be noted, get that free trip to the Bahamas he’s earned.
“We had to file a waiver with the NCAA to clear him just to invite him on the trip,” Enos said. “When we got the waiver that we could bring him that was a real blessing. Then we didn’t know if he was going to be able to go and to have his doctors clear him to go was another blessing.
“Our team loves him, he’s part of our family. He’s been through a lot obviously and I think our team loves to have one of our own as a captain, but a guy like Derrick who we draw so much strength from just watching how courageous he is every day and what an inspiration he is to our entire program.”
Both the player and the football program are hopeful he can return to the playing field in 2015 in something other than an honorary role.
(Photo credit: Central Michigan athletics)