Feature image of Jason Brice Jr. courtesy of Brice Family
BY ADIANNA ALSTON | AC JosepH Media
VORHEES — After overcoming a life-threatening illness, facing other obstacles has been “a cakewalk” for Jason Brice Jr.
Brice, a rising senior and basketball star at Eastern High School, was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, during his freshman year of high school.
Brice describes his trials battling cancer as a very eye-opening experience.
“That experience humbled me,” Brice said. “It made me open up to life and never take shortcuts in life.”
As a result of his ordeals, there was a shift in Brice’s outlook on life. He now strives to live life to the fullest and refuses to take the easy way out of anything.
“In basketball, if I had to do eight reps, I’d do like six, but now, because basketball was literally taken from me, if I have to do eight reps, I’m doing 15. I’m overachieving because I know this can stop any time unexpectedly.”
This past February, Brice was faced with yet another challenge after sustaining an ACL injury during a playoff game. At the time he was the second leading scorer on the team and had scored 20 points or more in at last five different games for Eastern.
After being told he would be unable to continue playing, Brice was devastated.
“I just kinda broke down crying,” Brice said. “I just worked so hard for me to be out again in one of the biggest games of my life. It was heartbreaking.”
However, despite the difficulties he may face, Brice is confident in his ability to continue to overcome and persevere.
“What I’ve been through in the past, this is just a cakewalk mentally and physically.”
He hopes that through his experiences, people are encouraged to change their mindsets about life.
“Never take things for granted, appreciate life to the fullest and take advantage of every opportunity you get because life can be taken away from you any day, any time, any second. You just don’t know. Tomorrow is not promised.”
Brice’s father, Jason Brice Sr., a counselor at Penns Grove High School, speaks of the great pride and admiration he has for his son.
“Words can’t express how proud I am of him,” the elder Brice said. “I’m speechless. Him having the ability to continue to stay focused and continue to overcome — it’s just a great thing.”
Brice, Sr. describes his son as a “real life hero” and believes that others can learn much from his story.
“I think people will see not just determination, but courage, perseverance, and the ability to trust the process and to allow that process to bring you to victory,” he told Front Runner New Jersey.
Brice has a village of people who support him and have a great level of confidence in him, including his coach, Kevin Crawford.
“When you compare an injury to cancer, if anyone can handle it, Jason can handle it,” Crawford said. “We’re unbelievably proud of him and it’s such an example to the other kids.”
Brice is eager to get back to playing the sport that he loves.
“In my head, I could go out and play a basketball game right now, but the doctors aren’t obviously going to let me do that,” Brice said. “So, I gotta slowly get back into it and that’s just not how I roll.”
Crawford is hopeful that Brice will be able to get back to playing after a few games into their next season, which starts in the winter. After cancer, it will be a cakewalk for Brice.
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