Freshman basketball player suits up for what could be his final game after recently being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer

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SAINT JOSEPH, Mich -- Mattox Williams of Saint Joseph High School in Michigan takes the floor for one last dance after recently being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer.

15-year-old Mattox Williams also known as smiley, plays the forward position for his freshman basketball team at Saint Joseph High School in Michigan.

He struggled a bit this season with what he and his family thought was just a nagging hip injury.

However, after talking with doctors, Mattox was told it wasn’t just a hip injury.

it was a rare bone cancer but if you talk to Mattox you might not know that.

"I love to smile I love being happy, i love who I'm around all the time so there isn’t something for me to be sad about right now," said Mattox Williams.

As while Mattox, or smiley, lives up to his happy nickname, his supporters and biggest fans, brought to tears as they send him off at Saint Joe’s game against the Lakeshore Lancers.

"Everybody in the whole gym is probably crying and he’s just smiling," said his AAU basketball Coach of Harbor Impact Rodney Alexander.

Fans filled the seats and signed items for Mattox to take with him as he starts a new journey off the court.

Chemotherapy at the university of Michigan.

While Mattox stands strong in the face of all of this, deep down he knows how lucky he is.

"Not everyone has this support. Especially what I'm going through and I think what’s important is to spread awareness because I'm not the only person that has this," said Williams.

"It’s all about everybody else with him. That’s deep. That’s deep," said Alexander.

The inspiration he was able to give to his supporters, came right back to the court as Mattox scored the first points of the game.

"Looking at the crowd and seeing all these people, all this support, all this love, it was amazing. I think that’s when all the nerves everything in there it just stopped and I wanted to play basketball," said Williams.

However, it wasn’t about the points for Mattox.

"Since it was his last game before treatment we wanted him to get the ball and shoot it and instantly he said no it’s about winning, I want you guys to get the ball, only what cost" said Saint Joseph Basketball freshman teammate Cole Caplea.

"I didn’t shoot my best today but that wasn’t what I was going for. I was going for points. I wasn’t going for the stat line. I was going to send a message that cancer can’t stop me and it can’t stop my team and it can’t stop my family," said Williams. 

The Williams family in the stands as well to watch their beloved number 25, as they sit with anticipation and wonder what Mattox will do next to add to his legacy.

"Some things are emotional, some things are hard but when you have a family you can always get through it," said Williams.

A family and a community that cares.

"He’ll be back soon enough. Like I told him he’s one of the toughest kids I ever met. To be going through all of this and still playing basketball, it’s truly amazing. A feat of strength. I told him that he’s one of the strongest kids I’ve ever known and he’s going to get through this," said Saint Joseph freshman boys team head coach Shnailder Jean.

"Kindness is what makes you friends and what builds a family and i think the amount of kindness you show even if it’s not directly towards someone, if it’s just saying high, if it’s just saying hey, what’s up, just looking at people, I think that’s what really matters and I think that’s what got all these people here today because being kind to everyone," said Williams.

Following the game against the Lakeshore Lancers, Mattox and his family went to the University of Michigan to start his chemotherapy and recently found out the cancer was treatable but had they not started when they did, the outcome wouldn't be as optimistic.

We wish Mattox and his family nothing but the best on their journey and for smiley to continue fighting.

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