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Utah Jazz sign 5-year-old diagnosed with leukemia to one-day contract

Sixth man of the year award goes to JP Gibson. 


Ikenna Anyoku


Posted on Oct 8, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 10:59 am CDT

The Utah Jazz signed JP Gibson, a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, to a one-day contract on Monday. A life-long Jazz fan, JP’s dreams came true when he joined the team on the court for an open scrimmage game.

JP’s experience was made possible by the Anything Can Be project, in association with the Millie’s Princess Foundation, an organization that provides support to families and children affected by childhood cancer. Anything Can Be, the creation of photographer Jon Diaz, asks children with cancer what their dream is and then creates it for them. Diaz has been chronicling these experiences and is compiling them into a fine art photo book that will be sold to raise awareness and fund for the battle against childhood cancer.

The Utah’s newest player was joined by his parents Josh and Megan, and his younger sister Elsie. He signed his contract with Jazz team president Randy Rigby an hour before the game, then wearing a number one jersey, was subbed in with 29 seconds to go in the third quarter. JP immediately received an inbounds pass, dribbled through the defense and slammed home a two hand dunk with the help of center Rudy Gobert and to the delight of the home crowd.

Welcome to the Jazz, JP!

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 6, 2014


“JP loves most sports, but basketball is definitely his favorite,” his mother Megan said. “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.”

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*First Published: Oct 8, 2014, 11:30 am CDT