Quentez Leach now works on his conditioning on the same field he once starred on for Smithfield-Selma High School.
But his senior season came to an abrupt halt when doctors diagnosed him with stage 2 Hodgkin's disease
He said the diagnosis finally answered why he was having cold chills and a cough which had become a part of his everyday life.
Leach met the disease head on.
"I really didn't have a choice but to handle it well because I didn't want people to feel sorry for me," Leach said.
It has been five months since his diagnosis and his chemotherapy treatments are behind him. With that chapter of his life coming to a close, Leach can now concentrate on his best sport - basketball.
Not everyone took Leach's diagnosis in stride. James Robinson, the head basketball coach at Smithfield-Selma, was one that didn't handle it well.
"He's like a son," Robinson said. "Cancer's scary. Very scary."
Robinson said he feels like a fool now that he knows why Leach would have his head out the backdoor doing some practices.
"I feel like a fool now because back then I was questioning his heart," Robinson said.
But Leach saw the court for the first time as a cancer Nov. 18.
His hospital trips are far from over but Leach knows he is blessed to be back with his teammates.
"This is your life. You don't know if it's on the line or not," Leach said. "Getting back to what I love, it's a blessing to be honest."