Zanesville basketball player Eric Walker is described by his friends and teammates as someone who would give anything for anyone.
On the court, the starting forward has helped the Blue Devils fight to the top of the ECOL Scarlet. Off the court, the senior is in the midst of the biggest fight of his life.
Walker has been forced to step away from basketball to battle testicular cancer. Scott Aronhalt and the Blue Devils not only miss Walker’s ability on the court, but also the character he displays on a daily basis.
“When you evaluate how many years I’ve been in coaching, you wonder sometimes why you’re still doing this,” Aronhalt said.
“It’s because of guys like Eric Walker.”
Though the Blue Devils continue to press on without Walker, he is not forgotten by his teammates.
“You can definitely tell in his attitude when he told us (about the diagnosis) that he’s not going to give up,” senior guard Spencer Hardwick said. “We’re behind him. We’re going to be praying for him. We just hope he’s going to stay strong and pray that he gets better.”
The support for Walker does not end with his basketball teammates. His fellow seniors have done their best to lift his spirits and provide support while he goes through chemotherapy.
“We’ve been really close with his family. A lot of us have been over at (Eric’s) house hanging out with him,” said Logan Graham, who was teammates with Walker on the soccer field. “He’s never seemed down. He’s always had a smileâ€¦ like it’s just an average day, like nothing has changed.”
The Blue Devils’ senior night game versus Canton Central Catholic this Saturday will be played in Walker’s honor. Zanesville students plan on wearing purple T-shirts with the number 42 on them, and donations can be made at the gate to the American Cancer Society.