TAYLORSVILLE — For 4A and 5A girls basketball players, Championship Saturday began with talk of strength and grace, two traits of great importance on such an emotional and pressure-filled day.
It also began with a tribute to Jayci Glover, a 13-year-old Kanab girl who passed away Wednesday morning after a yearlong fight with a rare form of terminal lymphoma. Jayci's message during that year was solely of strength and grace.
UHSAA Assistant Director Becky Anderson retold Jayci's story to coaches and captains of 5A finalists American Fork and Fremont and 4A finalists Skyline and Springville at a pregame protocol meeting at Salt Lake Community College. She told of Jayci's fight as well as of her gratitude, optimism and giving spirit — Jayci donated her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to Kanab High in the form of $7,500 for new digital scoreboards — throughout chemotherapy and radiation.
Anderson then offered the teams the opportunity to sign a game ball, which will be delivered to Kanab and that had written on it the message the Kanab community painted throughout the town in dedication to their girl: "Fight Like Jayci."
"As a tribute to Jayci and her family and her community, these teams signed the ball and dedicated their efforts today to the courage and example of this young girl," Anderson said. "They committed to never give up — to fight like Jayci."
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.
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