Sports Talk: Cancer fighter to be honored at University of Cincinnati game

As a ballhandler and floor leader at Fort Frye High School in Beverly and later at the University of Cincinnati, Leslie Knoch Andrew was one of the best.

The 5-foot-6 guard had this uncanny ability to not only beat a fullcourt press but to discourage the opposition from even applying one in the first place.

She was that good.

Now, Andrew is facing another kind of “press,” and if anyone can beat it, the former Cadet/Bearcat standout can.

During the summer of 2011, Andrew was diagnosed with melanoma. Like the battler she is, she had surgery and went into remission.

Problem was, though, the cancer came back this past November. More radiation treatments and immunotherapy.

Currently, the 29-year-old Andrew is hoping to be a part of a cancer treatment trial in the state of Maryland.

To help defray some of the costs in Andrew’s war against cancer, a Team Up for Leslie Benefit was held last Saturday. The fundraiser was sold out.

At 2 p.m. this Saturday at Fifth Third Arena, the Lady Bearcats will be hosting Providence in their Cancer Awareness Game.

Andrew, her husband Jon – who is presently enrolled in Cincinnati State’s School of Nursing – and 2-year-old son Landon will be there.

Prior to tip-off at approximately 1:45 p.m., Andrew, a two-time UC team captain, will be recognized and honored.

Look for many of the fans to be wearing pink.

At Fort Frye, Andrew is considered one of the all-time basketball greats. An All-State honoree in her senior season and a three-time Pioneer Valley Conference award winner, she was very instrumental in helping the Ralph Coffman-coached Lady Cadets compile a four-year 88-13 record.

No stranger to adversity, during her frosh season at Cincinnati, Andrew received a medical redshirt after missing 28 games with a stress fracture in her left leg.

Oh, yeah, she also had a broken hand.

Bouncing back, though, Andrew went on to become one of the leaders of the Lady Bearcats basketball team.

One of Andrew’s teammates was former Parkersburg South star Anne Stephens, whose younger sister Jill later attended and played hoops at UC.

Currently, Andrew is a school counselor with the Northwest School District.

Andrew is the daughter of Brian and Rhonda Knoch of Whipple. She has an older sister, Lana.

If anyone who wishes to support Team Up for Leslie, email TeamUpForLeslie2013@gmail.com

Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com