NIC-10 boys basketball coaches work together to create fundraiser for Boylan coach

All NIC-10 boys basketball coaches will be wearing special shirts for Boylan coach Gordy Kasper
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 11:34 PM CST
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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - Aimee and Gordon “Gordy” Kasper have been married for over 20 years and Aimee would describe those years with just three words.

“Basketball, basketball, and more basketball,” Aimee said, “We met because my teaching partner down in Galesburg was married to one of the assistant coaches on the high school basketball team and we went to a game to watch her husband and that is where I saw and met him for the first time.”

Gordy has been on the sidelines as a coach at Boylan for the past 14 years, but has been missing from the game recently.

“We started noticing symptoms right after the COVID shutdown...and he started having some stomach issues and went to his general practitioner and they were kind of messing around a bit and I pushed him to go see a GI doctor and it was shortly after then we discovered the cancer,” Aimee said.

In Fall 2020, Gordy was diagnosed with colon cancer.

“I would say it’s the hardest thing either one of us have ever been through, obviously I’m not the patient, he’s the one that’s had the harder time than I have, but to watch somebody that you love and care about and go through an illness like that is definitely very trying,” Aimee said.

Gordy would undergo 12 weeks of chemotherapy along with 10 additional weeks of maintenance chemotherapy.

Then on November 3, Gordy underwent six hours of surgery to remove to remove two tumors in his liver and one in his colon.

The chemotherapy and surgery, beginning to pay off.

“We’ve gone from really worrying about what this was going to do to him to getting a prognosis of many many healthy years ahead,” Aimee said, ”He’s on the way back up to being regular old Gordy and we’re starting to see some glimpses of that and that reminds me that we got many happy years ahead.”

As Gordy continues to be monitored in the future, another challenge arises for the Kasper family.

“This has been tough on our family financially,” Aimee said.

That’s when Harlem Boys Basketball Coach Mike Winters and other NIC-10 coaches stepped in.

“We want to beat each other every single night but when one of us needs help there’s not a better group of guys that I want to have in my corner in that situation,” Winters said, ”The family is selling some t-shirts and it was my idea to say, initially, ‘hey, let’s wear these t-shirts and bring some awareness to it’ (East) Coach (Roy) Sackmaster said ‘we should try to do more’ and he was 100% right and it’s kind of how it started.”

Winters created a GoFundMe to raise money for the Kasper family. On Friday, all NIC-10 coaches are set to wear special shirts that say “Team Kasper” on them as well during the games.

“It’s really gratifying, I’m excited to see it, I’m excited to see the pictures from other games and see what each school’s going to put on for Gordy and he’s very deserving and I think no matter who it would have been in our league our coaches would’ve stepped up and bonded together on this one,” Winters said.

“The NIC-10 is highly competitive when it comes to high school basketball, there are many, many nights where all we want to do is beat the other team but it has been very touching and heartwarming to see some of the messages that have been posted for Gordy and to see different athletic departments retweeting and sharing things,” Aimee said.

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