PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Just hours before tip-off against Utah State, BYU senior guard Craig Cusick learned his father Randy had been diagnosed with cancer.
Randy Cusick had been in the hospital since Sunday, and it was discovered Tuesday afternoon that he had a malignant tumor. Craig didn't know if he could play against the Aggies, but after talking to his father, decided to give it a go.
"It was really difficult," Cusick told ESPN. "My dad was the one that coached me growing up and he's been my hero. But he said to forget about about those things. Obviously, I couldn't. My dad was in my thoughts and in my prayers throughout the game."
The emotion got the best of Cusick for most of the game. He missed his first six shots from the field. But with the Cougars and Aggies tied at 68 in the final seconds, Cusick rebounded a miss by Matt Carlino and made a basket with .2 seconds left, giving BYU the victory.
"I can't even express what I was feeling," said Cusick, an Orem High graduate. "Right after I made the shot, I looked over at our bench and some of my best friends, my teammates and my coaches were running over to me and just started hugging me. I couldn't explain the gratitude that I felt at that time for my team and my coaches. But especially for my dad that e were able to have this special night together to be able to feel this."
Randy never misses a BYU home game, but was obviously not able to attend this one. He watched the game from his hospital room bed. Craig visited his dad at around midnight when emotions were running high.
"I came in and he was teary," Cusick said. "He was crying. So, I started to get teary and crying as well. He was just proud of me."
In the end, it was just one shot to win one game, but considering the circumstances, it was a shot the entire Cusick family will never forget.
"I made one shot, but my dad is just incredible," said Cusick. "He looked in my eyes, said he was going to be fine and that he was going to fight through this."
Randy needs only to look to his son for inspiration.