Kyle Kuric HORSE-ing around in unforgettable afternoon

It's not unusual to see former Louisville Cardinals basketball star Kyle Kuric shooting some hoops but Friday afternoon's shootaround was about more than just improving his jump shot.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- At first glance watching them shoot hoops, Kyle Kuric and Joey Cecil don't appear to be that much alike. There's Kyle, the former Louisville star and professional basketball player, and there's Joey, who spent much of the afternoon's round of HORSE trying to match Kuric's shot.

"Kyle dispatched me really easily in HORSE today," Cecil said. "I think I had five E's on my HORSE compared to him.”

"He's got a pretty good-looking shot," Kuric said. "That's what I told him."

But look past the swishes, the bricks and the air balls, and the similarities become easier to spot. Both men love basketball and both men love the Louisville Cardinals.

"Ever since I've been old enough to be a sports fan, I just remembered being a UofL fan, and I could never betray that," Cecil said.

And while many people can say they love Cardinals basketball, not many can say they've gone through brain surgery like these two.

"Even though we had completely different circumstances, we had so much in common already," Cecil said.

"We have that understanding that we look at each other and we know," Kuric said. "I know what he's going through. I know exactly what he's thinking about and how he's going to move forward and how he's going to handle it. It's just something you understand."

Kuric was diagnosed with brain tumors in November 2015 while playing professionally in Spain. He would require multiple surgeries to remove the tumors and then to stop the subsequent brain swelling.

Cecil was diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma, which doctors have told him is very aggressive. But despite the bleak prognosis, Cecil, who has been receiving support from the community through the Love My Joey campaign (lovemyjoey.com), has continued to stay positive.

"Will I be around in three years or five years? You can't do that," Cecil said. "That's out of your control to think that far ahead. All you can control is tomorrow. All you can control is today."

"It's amazing," Kuric said. "It's unbelievable what he's doing and whether he wants to be or not, he's an inspiration and he's moving forward."

After watching Kuric take the court so many times before on television, Cecil had the chance to play against his favorite Cardinals player Friday, something he says was a shock. And while he didn't get the friendly roll this time around, Cecil has already made plans with his new friend for a rematch - next time with a heavier ball.

"I said, 'Next time, I think we're going to have to take this to the bowling alley, which is a little bit more my dojo and my domain,'" Cecil, a 300 bowler who was a high school state champion and a collegiate bowler at Bellarmine, said.

"I want you to ask him if we go bowling if he'll take it easy on me," Kuric said.

Cecil said he received his first post-surgery MRI results two weeks ago, which came back clean. He said he is in "stable" condition, which according to Cecil means the scan did not show any new growths.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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