Asst. USC Coach Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Assistant USC women's basketball coach Nikki McCray has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

McCray and the university made the announcement Monday.

McCraysays he learned she had the disease in November. She's begun treatment and plans to continue coaching through the season.

Doctors say the cancer is treatable.

"This will definitely be a challenge, but I am getting prepared to fight and win this battle," McCray said in a statement. "We are a close family here at South Carolina, and I will draw my strength from God, my family and friends, our team, our staff and the fans. I am thankful for everyone's continued to support."

McCray has been an assistant with the Gamecocks for six years. Before becoming a coach, McCray was an All-American at Tennessee, a WNBA All-Star, and an Olympic gold medal winner.

"When Nikki called me with the unexpected news, my immediate reaction was to become the best supporter for her through this process," South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said in a statement. "Family is important to us, and we all have embraced Nikki's diagnosis with that mindset and providing her with all the moral and physical support she needs. Our 'Play 4 Kay' game will definitely have an even more personal meaning for us this year."

McCray and her husband, Thomas Penson, have a son, Thomas Nikson Penson, who was born last year.


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