US/World News

LA Lakers sign Jewish teenager with brain cancer to one-day deal

(JTA) — The Los Angeles Lakers signed a Jewish teenager with brain cancer to a one-day contract. Yitzi Teichman of Baltimore signed the one-day contract on Sunday, Jan. 31 for the team’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. He was given a jersey with the number 18, which in Hebrew is chai, or life, for the game. Teichman, 18, is a native of Los Angeles and a lifelong Lakers fan. His opportunity to join the team was facilitated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The teen, who had a brain tumor removed several months ago and is undergoing treatment, was joined at the Staples Center arena by his parents and seven siblings. When he was asked by the foundation what he wished for, Teichman said, ”It was pretty easy; I want to be a Laker. I didn’t have much of a shot considering my height; so it was either I’ve got to be good at basketball or get cancer. So I went with the cancer route.” Teichman warmed up with the team but sat on the bench during the game, which the Lakers lost. He received a signed ball and the players’ game shoes as gifts.

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