EDINA, Minn. (FOX 9) - Former Edina standout and Wisconsin Badgers basketball player Walter McGrory is being remembered for his courageous battle against a rare form of cancer, which he ultimately lost this past weekend.
McGrory's determination and fighting spirit were evident as he spoke at the University of Minnesota Foundation's Winefest fundraiser in May, just one month after undergoing a partial amputation of his left leg due to cancer.
"Whether the odds are in my favor or not, one thing is for certain: a broken spirit doesn’t stand a chance," McGrory said during the event.
His former coach at Edina High School, Pat Dorsey, recalls McGrory's resilience during his difficult times.
"He had some very difficult times and some very painful moments, but he always kept his smile on," Dorsey said.
McGrory was a basketball prodigy, joining the varsity team in 8th grade and later setting the all-time Edina scoring record with 2,126 points as a senior in 2017. Following his high school success, McGrory played four years with the Wisconsin Badgers.
After graduation, at the age of 22, he was diagnosed with bone cancer in his shin.
The disease eventually spread to his knee and lungs. Despite the challenges, McGrory remained optimistic and proactive, starting a GoFundMe to raise money for experimental treatments not covered by insurance.
"There have been lonely days and dark nights of the soul," he wrote, "but I have never been more optimistic than now. There is a cure out there."
As McGrory fought his illness, he was supported by visits from his former Badger teammates and words of encouragement from his former coach, who expressed his love and prayers for McGrory after a game in November.
Walter McGrory's journey was one of remarkable courage and unwavering spirit, inspiring many even as he faced the toughest of challenges. His legacy continues to resonate with those who knew him and followed his journey.