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Boy with cancer named MVP of national tournament

- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (AP) - Moments after leading his team to a national championship and being named the tournament's most valuable player, Michigan college basketball player Caleb Simons handed over his trophy to an inspirational 8-year-old who has cancer.

Johnny Teis has an inoperable brain tumor and is a former ball boy for the Cornerstone University Golden Eagles.

The team won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II national championship in Missouri on Tuesday night, and senior forward Simons was named the tournament's MVP.

As confetti flew during the celebration, Simons dashed toward the boy and presented him with the trophy.

"The real MVP is Johnny," Simons told the Grand Rapids Press. "We wanted to win this for him. He's been our inspiration."

Simons said he was "not really big into individual honors, anyway" and that being on a national championship team was a greater honor.

Cornerstone coach Kim Elders said he was moved by Simons' gesture.

"For Caleb to present his MVP trophy to Johnny, that tells you about the character of the players we have on this team," Elders said.

Cornerstone defeated the University of St. Francis of Fort Wayne, Ind., 80-71, to win the championship.

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