Utah Jazz Sign One-Day Contract With 5-Year-Old Battling Leukemia

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Oct 8, 2014   |   6:44PM   |   Salt Lake City, UT

Five-year-old J.P. Gibson has been battling cancer longer than he has been alive. In 2012, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The cancer usually spreads rapidly and creates immature blood vessels rather than mature ones. The disease is the most common type of cancer in children.

jpgibsonEver since J.P was very little he had a great love for basketball. In a statement in the Daily Mail, his mother said, “JP loves most sports, but basketball is definitely his favorite. When he was just over a year old, he would sit with my husband, Josh, watching games. He started insisting on shooting hoops for an hour each night before bedtime when he was just 15 months old. He knows he has to be six before he can play Junior Jazz, and he reminds us all the time that he can’t wait until he’s six.”

This is why when the NBA’s Utah Jazz team signed him on as a new basketball player they made his dreams come true. The team held a press conference to announce that Gibson was an honorary member of the team and even had a one-day contract for him to sign in crayon.

His father, Josh Gibson said, “I wish it was for a different reason. It’s unfortunate that it’s because he has cancer, but we’re happy that there’s great people out there that care.”

CBS Sports said the following about the game:

jpgibson2On Monday, the Utah Jazz announced they were signing JP Gibson to a contract. The significance of this is Gibson is a five-year old boy with leukemia and the Jazz were giving him a one-day contract. As nice as this was, the Jazz went above and beyond the gesture and brought Gibson off the bench in the third quarter of a team scrimmage played in front of Jazz fans on Monday.

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Gibson checked into the game, received the inbound pass, blew past Dante Exum and Steve Novak before flying through the air and dunking on Rudy Gobert. It was almost like he catapulted himself off of Gobert before throwing the two-handed dunk down. It was a pretty cool moment for Gibson and the Jazz. Gibson is only 36,372 points away from tying Karl Malone for the franchise scoring record.

Watch the inspiring video below!