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Wilson Holloway, Univ. of Tulsa Football Player, Dies After Long Bout with Cancer

Wilson Holloway Dies after Long-Bout with Cancer
Holloway may have been ill, but teammates say it was his smile that was "contagious" Facebook

(CBS/AP) - Wilson Holloway, the former University of Tulsa football player who was an inspiration to his teammates on and off the field, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Tulsa athletics department spokesman Don Tomkalski says 22-year-old offensive tackle Wilson Holloway died Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Holloway, of Edmond, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in March 2008.

He redshirted in 2007 and played in six games in 2008 after undergoing cancer treatments. The cancer reappeared in September 2008 and Holloway underwent a second round of chemotherapy treatments.

Holloway never let his cancer get in the way of his passion for football. As a freshman, the former left tackle played with a special pad over the chemotherapy port on his chest. When extensive radiation treatments cause him to lose his hair, the rest of the team shaved their heads in solidarity. In a 2008 interview with ESPN, Holloway joked, "Pray for our health and our hair. There's going to be a lot of ugly lineman."

The Football Writers Association of America voted him the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award winner. Tulsa Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham says Holloway's smile was "contagious" that says Holloway "fought the disease with a tireless and enthusiastic spirit."

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