OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University men’s basketball team had a new edition to its family on Saturday when it welcomed 14-year-old Jackson Hogenkamp to the team. The RedHawks held a special ceremony to make it official in the locker room following practice.
Jackson is from Minster, Ohio. He is battling osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. His diagnosis has caused him to fight many battles, including a collapsed lung. He will undergo over 20 weeks of chemotherapy treatment, then have surgery to remove the tumor located in his rib. Post-surgery, Jackson will endure another 20-30 more weeks of chemotherapy. Prior to his diagnosis, Jackson was very active in sports. He absolutely loved playing basketball, football and baseball where he was a star centerfielder.
“We were so honored to host Jackson on Saturday,” said head coach Jack Owens. He’s part of the RedHawk Family now. We want to keep fighting. We will keep him in our prayers and continue to support him in any way we can while he gets healthy.”
Jackson comes to Miami via the Friends of Jaclyn Program. It is a nationwide non-profit with the mission to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other forms of childhood cancer. They do this by pairing afflicted children with high school and college sports teams. The team adopts the child as an honorary team member for life and gives them love, support, and friendship. This is done by inviting him to practices, games, and team events. To date, FOJ has paired over 700 children with teams. That includes the Miami hockey team, which adopted Michael Quintero in 2010. For more information on Friends of Jaclyn click here.
This past Saturday Jackson and his family got to watch the team practice. Afterwards they held the signing ceremony in the locker room, where the RedHawk players and staff got to learn his story and present him with gear now that he is a member of the team. They then went on to the court to shoot a little bit and play a game of knockout.
Jackson and his family will be around the Miami men’s basketball team often. Keep checking with MiamiRedHawks.com for more updates on his story.