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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Bruins Make Trip Worth It

March 17, 2001|BILL PLASCHKE

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Kathryn Thompson Rice, the wife and mother of two Bruin fans, went to the team hotel Friday with a request.

Cole Medlin, her 8-year-old son who suffers from juvenile arthritis, was too ill to make the 11-hour trip from Jackson, Tenn., for the East Regional games. But he wanted a Bruin autograph.

She contacted team officials during the Bruins' breakfast. When she didn't hear from them immediately, she sat down in the lobby and put her head in her hands.

She said two players saw her and brought her outside the team's breakfast room. Once there, guard Earl Watson came out and invited her inside.

Moments later, she was posing for a photo with the team, then giving them a pep talk involving her son.

"I told them that I might not ever get to see my son grow tall like them, that they should appreciate their physical gifts and use them to go all the way," she said.

She eventually left with several photos and autographed souvenirs.

"I can't believe these young men's kindness," she said.

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