It happened just like many people expected it to last year: Quantez Leach became a household name in Johnston County. It wasn’t, however, for the reason many had expected. As the basketball legacy of “Tez,” as his friends and teammates know him, was just beginning at Smithfield-Selma High School, he started to experience random sickness last fall. It turned out to be Hodgkin’s Disease.
Soon, classmates and community members were banding together to Pray4Tez as he started chemotherapy treatments. He became an inspiration for others, drawing praise from the likes of Deion Sanders and others.
He finished his treatments in September and – once the disappointment of missing the football season passed - has focused on being as ready as he could be for the Spartans’ basketball team.
Leach talked with our Michael Held after a Spartans’ scrimmage on Wednesday about the past year he’s experienced and what he expects from the SSS basketball team this season. One that included a monster dunk by Leach which thrilled the crowd and him but he admitted to banging up his hand a little bit on the rim. It was a small price to pay and nothing comparable to the battle he’s endured over the past year.
“The people, I’ve got to thank them because they kept me up. For all that they did for me, talking to me. They’re the ones who really helped me get through everything I went through. People would come in and support me when I was getting treatments and then would come by the house and see how I was doing.”