|By Greg Shashack, The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Growing up in
With Saturday's graduation from
"Best advice I ever got," Maguire said, recalling the message delivered by a former NBA player at a basketball camp for elite players. "
"I didn't know it at the time, but I was able to use basketball to get a law degree. It's amazing, it really is."
So was the journey putting Maguire in cap and gown Saturday in
He was a high-school star at Civic Memorial, scoring more than 1,500 points in his first three seasons with the Eagles. Maguire transferred to
With the Tigers, the 6-foot-5 Maguire earned Associated Press Class AA All-State honors while averaging 16.4 points per game for a
That prep career brought Maguire both adulation and disdain -- with the loudest of those cheers and boos coming the same mouths. That adversity would intensify in college.
Maguire was recruited to
Maguire lit up national power
It was then that Edwardsville coach
"I was only there the one year, but the things coach Waldo taught me -- even though I only played for him one year, I always went to his camps as a kid and was always around Tiger basketball as an
Chemotherapy reduced Maguire's lymph nodes to normal size and the cancer was gone. But with doctors predicting a 60 percent chance of the cancer returning, Maguire opted for radical surgery -- retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) -- that would rid his body of the couriers that can spread testicular cancer to the lungs, liver, brain and other organs.
Maguire has been cancer-free since that surgery in
There, another coach extended Maguire another lifeline. Norse coach
Basketball was an outlet Maguire had always craved. Now, he finds similar nourishment in the law and his aspirations of being both lawyer and basketball coach have been revised.
"All I ever knew was basketball, so I thought I would get into coaching," Maguire said. "But I really want to focus on practicing law. I have the same competitiveness for law practice that I had for basketball. I always said I want to find something that I care about as much as I care about basketball. I found it in practicing law and the way I can help people. I'm really looking forward to pouring myself into that."
Maguire has been working as a law clerk at a
"In a lot of ways I'm looking forward to getting back home and starting over without that being my sole identity," Maguire said of the basketball player who got cancer label. "But I've got no complaints. It's been great, it's been a hell of a ride being a part of the basketball program here at
Still, his love for the game remains and so does his gratitude. "It's amazing," Maguire said, "what basketball has led to."
Now, Maguire will live with new labels. Former basketball player. Attorney. Cancer survivor.
(c)2014 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)
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