Arthur Ray Jr.'s mission took another step Friday, when he played his first collegiate snap since being diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Now, Ray is being recognized for his courage, being nominated for the America's Choice Honor for Courage in Sports.
Here's the release from the Big Ten:
Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. and former Indiana basketball standout Landon Turner are nominated for the America's Choice Honor for Courage in Sports, Intersport announced today. The America's Choice Honor, wholly determined by fan voting, recognizes individuals that have overcome monumental challenges to achieve greatness in the world of sports.
The winner will be announced on a one-hour "Courage in Sports" special airing at 5 p.m. ET Nov. 13 on CBS. Each week for six weeks, two inspirational sports stories will be featured on the Courage in Sports Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CourageInSports). The top weekly vote-getter will proceed to the finals, which run Oct. 3-16.
A standout lineman at Chicago's Mount Carmel High School and ranked among the nation's top offensive guards, Ray signed to play for the Spartans in 2007 but was diagnosed with bone cancer soon after. After four years, frequent chemotherapy, nine surgeries, multiple infections and almost two years on crutches, Ray was cleared to practice in April 2011 and is on the Spartans roster this season.
Although taking a rest period following a setback in camp, Ray remained vigilant and returned to the field this season, earning his first collegiate start against Youngstown State last Friday night.