Lovelady basketball team, coach shave heads to show support for team mom with cancer

Lovelady Lions basketball team
Lovelady Lions basketball team
Kristi Rich
Kristi Rich

LOVELADY, TX (KTRE) - Teams are always coming up with ways to show unity. In Lovelady, it's no different.

But instead of uniting around a quest for the state title, the Lions basketball team is coming together to support a team mom fighting cancer. They decided to share their heads.

Kristi Rich lost her hair after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January, and her son's basketball team stepped and banded together to honor her.

"I'm proud of him because you don't know how they are going to react," Kristi Rich said Friday. "I'm proud that he did it for me and I'm proud they did it for me."

"She's been there backing us up, so it means a lot for her to see us backing her up," Taylor Rich, Kristi's son, said.

Last Monday, while Kristi Rich was driving home from her cancer treatment in Houston, the entire team decided to shave their heads. It triggered a response that her own son said was emotional.

"In her words, there wasn't a Kleenex in the car," Taylor Rich said. "It just really hit her hard. It just means a lot that everyone has her back."

How do the other senior members of the team feel about it?

"It wasn't hard at all," Dustin Rodriquez said. "I grew up with Taylor my entire life, and she has always been there supporting us, so it wasn't hard to shave our heads."

"Mrs. Rich - she's like my second mom; she's just an amazing person," Justice Kelly said.

"If somebody can make it through cancer, then surely a team like us can fight through two tough games to make it to the playoffs," Brent Bitner said.

The Lovelady basketball team's run for the playoffs was set to continue Friday night in Grapeland. Although the Lions are on the outside looking in, they still have a shot. However, no matter what the outcome of the teams run for a state title winds up being, a bigger lesson has been learned.

"There's bigger things then a win on the court," Kristi Rich said. "There is life out there and they have shown that they know that by doing this."

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