MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — In August of 2014, Mountain Brook teenager Sid Ortis was diagnosed with bone cancer. During his battle, Sid’s story became known to many across the nation.
On Thursday night, his story continued back at home inside a packed Spartan Arena for Mountain Brook basketball’s season opener.
“He was just a free spirit,” said Mountain Brook senior and longtime neighbor Jack Kline. “He went to the beat of his own drum and he never cared what anyone else thought about him. Always happy and a smile on his face, that’s what I remember best about Sid.”
Thursday night those memories came alive when the Spartans took the court in warm-ups that donned the “SID” symbol. Stickers were also given out to the fans and a moment of silence was held in his remembrance.
“This was the very first [Mountain Brook] sporting event since his passing,” said Mountain Brook head coach Bucky McMillan. “We just thought in this community, it would be a great way to honor him in something that he enjoyed so much, at a basketball game”
“It’s just amazing how his life touched so many people,” said Sid Ortis’ father Scott. “People feel connected to him and want to honor him and the way he lived life in the last 15 months.”
After a moment of silence fell over Spartan Arena, things came alive and from that moment forward the message to the team came from Sid.
“Coach always says there are times where we might think we are hurting but somebody is hurting way more somewhere else,” said Mountain Brook senior Joe Donald. “He brings a toughness to our team and gives us strength.”
“We tell our players all the time we want to be a hardworking, unselfish, fearless basketball team,” said McMillan. “I think Sid is such an inspiration to so many people the way he lived his life. He lived so fearless and continued to impact so many other people while he was going through the battles he was going through.”
On October 31, 2015 Sid Ortis lost his battle with cancer, but never lost his battle with life.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News