All-state guard from Cantwell Sacred Heart of Montebello diagnosed with rare form of cancer after taking x-Ray because of chest pain. His father Joe talks about outpouring of emotional and monetary support he’s already received from the basketball community.
Joey Covarrubias, a third team all-state guard who led Cantwell Sacred Heart of Montebello to the SoCal Division IV regional final, recently complained of chest pain.
After an x-Ray of Covarrubias’ lungs and chest led to a CAT Scan, doctors broke the devastating news. The 19-year old had a malignant tumor between his lungs and chest cavity wall. Covarrubias was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer mainly found in children.
In the last 24 hours, the news of Covarrubias’ condition has spread throughout the basketball community via social media. A GoFundMe account was set up for the third team Cal-Hi Sports All-State guard and in just a day’s time the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
The page set up for Covarrubias had a $25,000 goal, but that was easily surpassed in the first day. A generous donation was made by NBA guard and former UCLA standout Earl Watson, who supports one of the club programs Covarrubias played for during his high school career – Earl Watson Elite.
Covarrubias, who also played for the Belmont Shore club team and will graduate from high school May 29, was the top player on a team that was 23-9 and ranked No. 16 in the state. In addition to being named third team all-state, Covarrubias was named The Whittier Daily News Player of the Year and fulfilled a lifelong dream by earning a basketball scholarship to Cal-St. Monterey Bay.
We spoke to his father, Joe Covarrubias, to get an update about his son’s situation. The former Huntington Park High School all-L.A. City standout said his son was a fighter and wanted to thank those that quickly came to his aid:
“My son is in great spirit. Tomorrow we will be going through some more in-depth tests. According to the plan, he begins chemotherapy on Thursday. In terms of his thoughts he is ready to fight. He is not much for attention, but he has expressed how grateful he is about all the PRAYERS and well wishes he’s received. It was very uplifting to him to see the respect he has gotten from those he’s gone into battle against on the court. All prayers and well-wishes are welcomed. Keep praying, they will be heard. God Bless.”
We also spoke to Cantwell Sacred Heart head coach George Zedan:
“I have known Joey since he was 12. He’s one of the best players I have ever coached. He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever been around. And yes, this kid is as tough as they come. A true warrior in every aspect/facet of the game. We put him through every possible tough scenario and asked him to find success. I could not be prouder of him as a player and now as a young man as he begins this battle. Joey is in great spirits and his warrior mentality will carry him through.”
CLICK HERE to check out Covarrubias’ GoFundMe page.
Here are some snippets of the support Covarrubias has received from the hoops community:
Prayers go out to Joey Covarrubias and his family as prepares to battle sarcoma cancer. Helluva kid! God Bless!
— Jamal Adams (@CoachJAdamsLHS) May 20, 2014
Plz donate $$ for basketball player Joey Covarrubias from Cantwell Sacred Heart. We can help save him from cancer http://t.co/VuvgUCfkrk
— Bear Henderson (@RCWellZ) May 20, 2014
Just heard the news about Cantwell Sacred Heart PG Joey Covarrubias and felt the wind knocked out of me. You’re in all of our prayers in SD
— Full-Time Hoops (@FullTimeHoops1) May 20, 2014
His family and other supporters are grateful of the money raised so far to supplement insurance and other costs associated with his condition. CLICK HERE to check out Covarrubias’ GoFundMe page.