Despite having one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Lakers made a great move, signing 18-year-old Yitzi Teichman to a one-day contract. The team announced the new addition to the roster on Sunday.
Teichman, who is battling brain cancer, had a tumor removed last year. When the Make-A-Wish foundation asked him what his dream was, it was to be a Laker.
To make the NBA, Teichman jokingly said, “It’s either you gotta be good at basketball or have cancer, so I went with the cancer route.”
The team held an introductory press conference for him with Mitch Kupchak, got him his own uniform, and walked out with the team for warmups before their game against the Charlotte Hornets. He even had a chance to play a little defense on Swaggy P. Teichman also stood with the team during the national anthem before the game, and sat courtside.
He also apparently got along pretty well with his new teammates. “He was just like part of the crew,” Kobe Bryant said. “He just came in here, hung out, sat next to me. He was here for the pregame, here for halftime and here postgame. He fit in very well.”
“He has an amazing spirit and also a positive outlook on his situation in terms of how he was able to pick it up,” Bryant said.
Teichman is quite the trooper. He completed the Miami Half-Marathon on January 24, less than a year after undergoing surgery, and reportedly very little training.
“One of the main reasons I signed up was to tell myself and show people that I may have cancer and surgeries and radiation treatment, but I’m still a kid,” Yitzi said. “I can still run. I can still be active. That’s one of the main reasons I did it.”
To see the fight that Teichman is putting up is admirable, and he is definitely somebody that we could all look up to, and model ourselves after.