Bruton will overcome cancer shock to make Sixers a force: Dad

CJ, who is sidelined for the 36ers’ next two games as he deals with Covid, has impressed in his maiden season as an NBL head coach.Watch Every Game of the 21/22 NBL Season Live & On-Demand with ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >The six-time championship-winning player looks comfortable with the clipboard, even though Adelaide has experienced an inconsistent season to sit in eighth position after 13 rounds.Bruton junior has also dealt with cancer for years after discovering a lump on his neck during his playing days with the New Zealand Breakers in the mid-2000s. He reluctantly visited specialist and he was told the lump in his neck needed to be removed.An autopsy of the lump confirmed Bruton’s worst fear – it was cancerous.Thankfully, the procedure successfully removed the cancer, but he still requires regular check-ups for the next five years to reduce his risk of the cancer returning.Bruton’s father, Cal, has also fought and overcame prostate cancer, and he believes his son will follow the same path to recovery. “We are very much people who have faith,” Cal Bruton said about his son CJ’s recent cancer battle and now Covid diagnosis.“CJ is a Christian athlete and more so than I’ve been in my lifetime.“He and his wife live it and they have three beautiful young children, two with special needs.“I’m so proud of CJ and what he has been able to accomplish. He has got tremendous character and he is able to connect with everybody.“His attitude is infectious, to the point where everyone is trying to catch it.“He has established a culture at the 36ers, which I’ve brought to the family about what a Bruton is, and I have no doubt that he will rise above these challenges and be successful.”Bruton senior enjoyed a successful NBL career in his own right as an import in the league’s inaugural season in 1979 before moving into coaching.He revealed the family’s longstanding positive mantra was the work of his grandson, Rio. “He was all of nine years old when he said to me, ‘hey pop, I know you are big on acronyms, so I wrote one on my mirror and I want you to come and have a look at it,’ he said. “The B was for: be kind, the R is respect, the U is using your manners, the T is your trust in God, the O is own your mistakes, the N is never give up.“I know CJ will follow this family mantra and it will help him overcome any obstacle that comes his way.” Adelaide hosts the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday night and must win to save their season.The 36ers are currently in third last position on the ladder and are fighting to keep their slim finals hopes alive.NBA return still on Delly’s radarMelbourne United marquee man Matthew Dellavedova hasn’t given up hope of returning to the NBA. United coach Dean Vickerman says Dellavedova is more than capable of securing another stint in the world’s best league.“Delly certainly believes that there is a role for him in the NBA,” Vickerman said of Dellavedova, who has averaged 10 points, 5.75 assists, 3.19 rebounds while shooting 40 per cent from the field and 30 per cent from range for United. “I’m sure there are teams out there who need a second or third guard who isn’t going to demand major minutes to be happy.“I’m sure if Delly was the third guard on LaMelo Ball’s team right now to help and give advice, it would be the perfect role for him.“Then in key moments if there was an injury, you could trust him. If someone is looking for that role in the NBA, I’m sure Delly is on their list.” Vickerman dubbed Dellavedova the ‘scientist’ in the pre-season based on the veteran guard’s perfectionist ways. He says these diligent traits have been present all season as the former NBA star has guided United to the top of the NBL ladder. “Delly is a crazy studier and a deep dive guy on whatever his interest is in basketball, off-court and business,” he said. “He just dives as deep as he can and gets as much information and he has done that here at United.”Even with a small out of bounds play, he is starting to make winks and nudges to guys to where he sees the potential to counter the defense.“Delly’s three ball is also growing in percentage, so if he can get that to 36 per cent by the end of the year that would be magnificent.” HAWKS’ COLANGELO HEADING DOWN UNDERTwo-time NBA Executive of the Year turned Illawarra Hawks co-owner Bryan Colangelo is heading to Australia for the first time in the coming weeks to watch his Hawks.Colangelo, who has held GM roles at Philadelphia, Phoenix and Toronto, has organized a trip to see in his investment in the flesh. Illawarra is the 55-year-old’s first foray back into professional basketball since his untidy exit in Philadelphia, where a social media controversy led to his resignation in 2018. A 76ers investigation absolved Colangelo but revealed that his wife, Barbara, had operated multiple controversial Twitter accounts in attempt to support her husband. The veteran administrator doesn’t have a role running Illawarra as a president or GM but assists in governance and strategy as an equity partner to the ownership group.Colangelo’s looming visit Down Under comes as Illawarra looks to resurrect its season following inconsistent results.The Hawks recently re-signed Sam Froling for three years and have similar plans to secure off-contract big man Duop Reath and coach Brian Goorjian. PHOENIX NBA OWNERS OZ BOUNDThe South East Melbourne Phoenix’s NBA part-owners John Wall and Zach Randolph have indicated a desire to visit Australia later this season.Wall’s Rockets won’t make the NBA playoffs this season, which would be the perfect opportunity for the guard to travel to Australia, depending on a trade.Wall has yet to suit up this season after he and Houston agreed to sit him out while they seek for a trade destination for the five-time All-Star.The trade deadline has passed, and Wall is still a Rocket – for now. Randolph, now retired after playing 1186 NBA games for five clubs, is also keen to see the Phoenix play in Australia, hopefully during another playoff run.South East Melbourne are in second position in one of the tightest races to the finals seen in seasons. BRUTON’S RALLYING CALL Adelaide 36ers coach CJ Bruton knows the harsh reality of cancer.Bruton discovered a lump on his neck while playing for New Zealand in the mid-2000s. After reluctantly seeing a specialist a few years later, he was told the lump in his neck needed to be removed.An autopsy of the lump confirmed Bruton’s worst fear – it was cancerous.Thankfully, the procedure successfully removed the cancer, but he still requires regular check-ups for the next five years to reduce his risk of the cancer returning.Unfortunately, not everyone is so blessed.Last year alone, cancer took over 49,000 lives in Australia.It’s why Bruton, in conjunction with the 36ers, is aiming to raise $20,000 by the end of their match against the SEM Phoenix on March 4 in a bid to save more lives. Visit the following link to contribute: FORDE’S SYDNEY RETURNExpect a fired-up Adam Forde when the Cairns Taipans coach returns to Sydney for the first time on Sunday since leaving the Kings’ head role last season.Let’s just say that Forde’s departure from the Kings wasn’t all rosy and the former Perth Wildcats assistant will have this clash circled in his calendar.There are also Kings officials who will be desperate to win this game over Forde. Bring your popcorn ready for Sunday’s Kings vs Taipans clash at Qudos Bank Arena from 3pm. MILESTONE MENPerth forward Majok Majok will play game 150 on Sunday, against the Adelaide 36ers, and Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman will coach game 250 on Saturday at home against the Brisbane Bullets. KEY STATThe in-form Sydney Kings are shooting for seven-straight wins for the first time since the 2007-2008 season when Brian Goorjian’s Kings finished minor premiers with a 27-3 record before losing the grand final series 3-2 to the Melbourne Tigers . NBL ROUND 14 DRAWfriday, March 4 from 7.30pm (AEDT) at Adelaide Entertainment Center and Live on ESPN and KayoADELAIDE 36ERS vs SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX Saturday, March 5 from 5.30pm (AEDT) at the Silverdome (Launceston) and Live on ESPN and Kayo TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS vs NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 8pm (AEDT) at John Cain Arena and Live on ESPN and KayoMELBOURNE UNITED vs BRISBANE BULLETS Sunday, March 6 from 1pm (AEDT) at Adelaide Entertainment Center and Live on ESPN, 10Peach and KayoADELAIDE 36ERS vs PERTH WILDCATS 3pm (AEDT) at Qudos Bank Arena and Live on ESPN, 10Peach and KayoSYDNEY KINGS vs CAIRNS TAIPANS 5.30pm (AEDT) at John Cain Arena and Live on ESPN and KayoSOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX vs ILLAWARRA HAWKS Monday, March 7 from 7.30pm (AEDT ) at MyState Bank Arena and Live on ESPN and Kayo NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS vs BRISBANE BULLETS

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