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Bountiful students employ 'power of pink' to support athlete and his mother

By Tom Kirkland | Posted - Feb 15th, 2013 @ 11:52pm


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BOUNTIFUL — Other that ridiculously talented, No. 1 in the nation Lone Peak squad, Bountiful High School is about the hottest basketball teams in the state right now. They're riding a 17-game winning streak, and all that does is encourage an already outrageously loud and creative student fan section.

These days, though, the loud and proud are dedicated to lifting the spirits of a cause: a player and his courageous mom.

Bountiful senior Mosese "Mo" Manu is feeling love all around him, as his mom, Lile, battles brain cancer.

"Before she got really sick, she was able to come to one of the games. I think it was the Woods Cross game," Manu said. "That was the first game that they started the ‘We love Lile' (chant)."

"I came and sat on the bench, and everyone was like, ‘Whoa, did you hear that? They're cheering for your mom!'" he said. "She thought it was amazing."

While the school's primary color is red, most students now wear pink to the basketball games — adding another element of support for Lile and her son.

"It was an unbelievable feeling," said Sam Merrill, one of Manu's teammates. "We were getting goose bumps, knowing that everyone's coming out to support wearing pink."

This week, the school held a fundraiser for the Huntsman Cancer institute. Altogether, they brought in close to $4,000.

"We love Mo, and by proxy we love his mother," said Shelby Taylor, a student body officer at the school.

Head basketball coach Mike Maxwell said his athletes don't stand idly by, either. They've made several trips to the hospital to visit Lile.

"We've had our team go up and visit her when she was up in the hospital and just getting out of her surgery, and those are the kind of things that are going to be lasting memories for these kids," Maxwell said. "It's not playing on the court, it's not winning games; it's helping other people. And that's a big deal."

"It meant the world to me," Manu said. "It made me feel like I'm not alone."

He added that with all family is going through, if his team could find a way to take state, it would make him and his mom very happy.

Contributing: Jordan Ormond

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