Tulsa's Wilson Holloway Received FedEx Orangle Bowl Courage Award Today
Jan. 8, 2009
Miami, Florida - The University of Tulsa's Wilson Holloway was presented the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award at the Football Writer's Association of America annual awards breakfast on Thursday morning as part of the BCS National Championship festivities.
After Holloway was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he underwent chemotherapy treatment throughout the spring 2008 and returned to play for the Golden Hurricane this season on special teams and in a reserve role.
In October, however, tests on a swollen lymph node showed the cancer had returned. He began a treatment cycle that included two rounds of chemotherapy with three-week breaks between, followed by five straight days of treatment during which he was sequestered in the hospital.
Despite the cancer, Holloway played in six games - including one game (Oct. 26 vs. Central Florida) after he had begun treatment. When he began losing his hair, his fellow offensive linemen shaved their heads.
"We're extremely proud of Wilson's courage and his faith," Tulsa coach Todd Graham said. "His example to our team has been absolutely outstanding. We're so excited for him to be honored this way with the Courage Award. It's an unbelievable reflection on such a great human being. He's been a tremendous example to everyone on how to face adversity and that's with an unbelievable faith and determination. He's got a spirit that is extremely unique and has been an inspiration to our team."
For the third straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx Orange Bowl announced a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel determined the winner from all of the nominees.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also a FWAA member. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.
Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
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