Strength, courage, and determination are words often used to describe game plans for sports teams however for some, are much deeper than that.
For one St. Andrew’s student Solomon Marshall ‘24 those words not only served as guiding lights over the past year, but also, in effect doubled as inspiration for the entire school community.
On December 13, 2019 Marshall, at the young age of 14, was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare cancer that disproportionately strikes adolescent boys.
Having to step away from school, and his love of basketball, he set out on a nearly years’ worth of treatments, therapy, and ultimate recovery from the insidious disease.
With prolonged and elaborate stays at both MD Anderson Hospital (Houston, TX) and Dell Children’s in Austin, Marshall completed seven rounds of chemotherapy along with 31 days of radiation treatment.
In the latter part of this summer, Marshall, along with the 400 plus Upper School students, returned to St. Andrew’s School, where he not only got reacquainted with his beloved school and friends, but went on to become the lone freshman on this year’s varsity basketball squad.
With his help, the team is off to their best start in history at 8-2 as well as being ranked a top five area team by the Austin Statesman.
Assistant Basketball Coach & Director of Social Emotional Learning Scott Zimmerman summed up Solomon's positive outlook and inspirational path when he shared, "Something that I think summarizes Solomon’s courage is the response I got from the nurses when I visited him during his recovery from surgery. They all commented on how pleasant it was to visit him and the joy it brought them to interact with him. Even when he was facing the daunting challenge of recovering from a really tough surgery and then the exhaustive six month treatment for cancer, he still brought joy to people. He never let cancer determine his outlook on life. He chose to persevere, to connect, to bring joy and to love. In what could have been the darkest time in his life and the life of those who care for him, he chose, every day, to be a light. It takes incredible strength to battle cancer, and he has that in abundance. But the inspirational thing about Solomon is that he didn’t just use his strength to heal himself, he used his strength to inspire others and give them hope, as well. There is something extraordinary about strength like that."
To discuss his journey and triumphant path as well as a midseason basketball review, Marshall will be a guest on the Talk 1370 AM Vype Magazine High School Spotlight with Thomas Bingham, on Sunday, December 27.
His appearance marks the fifth member of the athletic department/teams to be featured on local Austin radio this year.
Click here to listen to the show that aired on Sunday, December 27.