The Heritage High School girls’ basketball team has a record close to.500, but they’ve never lost a big game. We all know Rocky Balboa from his fights with Ivan Drago and Apollo Creed, but this is a Rocky story you’ve never heard.
Rocky Elardo is a senior at Heritage High School and loves and cares a lot about basketball. Since the eighth grade, Rocky hasn’t been able to play because he has Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
“I’ve had cancer four times, so I’ve done treatment three out of those four times,” Elardo added. “It was really hard living in a hospital. I think you had to be mentally strong.”
Rocky could motivate and inspire her teammates even when she wasn’t with them. Elardo’s teammates and coaches at Heritage High never stopped being there for her during her treatments.
Rachel Stewart, a sophomore guard and one of her teammates, really admires and respects Rocky’s mental toughness.
Stewart: “She’s always been like that role model for me I guess, because every time I see her, she’s always making me laugh no matter what she’s been through for that day,”
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Elardo finally got a chance to play basketball again after almost five years. It was senior night at Heritage High, and they played Rock Ridge. Elardo stepped onto the court for her last possession as a high school basketball player.
The gym was filled with loud cheers from fans, and the stage was set. As the fans’ cheers got louder, Elardo caught a pass, but she didn’t keep it for herself. Instead, she gave it to another teammate.
When the play was set up for Elardo to shoot, the guard curled around a ball screen to get a clear shot on the game’s last and most important shot, no matter what the final score was or who won.
Elardo said, “I just wanted to play like my one possession,” When Elardo’s long three-pointer went in, everyone jumped out of their seats to celebrate. This was the moment Rocky had been fighting bone cancer, so he had to keep fighting until this point.
“Sometimes you know it’s going in, like, you can just feel it. I was like, ‘oh my gosh, this is going to go in,'” Elardo said after her big shot. Otto Jett, in charge of the girls’ basketball team at Heritage High, was surprised after the basket.
“I got very emotional, which I am now because she fought, she fought hard,” said Jett, the head coach. It’s not unusual for Rocky to land a big shot, but this one feels a bit more special than the others.
Elardo’s cancer is now in remission, and he will have another scan in March. If you believe this is interesting, please discuss it with the other people you know. Visit blhsnews.com for the most recent news and updates regarding famous people.