SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With more than 600 wins, five state championships, and a couple of federation titles, Bob McKenney eats, sleeps, and breathes basketball.
It’s what he’s done for more than 30 years.
“Again, it’s my passion, it’s been my passion my whole life,” Coach Bob McKenney says. “I love to compete. I love to game plan. I love to practice and put it all together and see what happens on game day…if I were to stop doing that I’d be sitting at home miserable.”
But there was no game plan for what Bob McKenney encountered four months ago in late September, when one day, really by accident, he noticed that something wasn’t right.
Bob did the right thing and got it checked out. After a number of tests and various doctor appointments, he got the news that it was breast cancer, the same disease that had taken his mom’s life.
What followed, was a mastectomy in November, then chemotherapy. During that time he’s missed a grand total of only two practices. One for the surgery and one for the flu. So where does Bob get his positive attitude from? Well, from his mother of course.
And who Bob is, is a basketball coach. There was no thought about quitting or taking time off.
His right-hand man on the bench for the last 25 years, Charlie Falgitano said there was no doubt in his mind that Coach McKenney would use this as another way to teach his players and lead by example.
The Bishop Grimes community is doing its part to assist in that fight as Falgiatano helped organize a benefit to be held Saturday, January 21 at the school. This is being done to firstly raise money but maybe more importantly, to show the coach just how many people he has in his corner.
Will there be changes? Yes. But is Bob McKenney going to allow cancer to change who he is or get in the way of what he loves to do? Not a chance.