The Jeremy Morgan Story

Jeremy Morgan was a youngster who loved basketball and excelled at it. His greatest dream would have been to play for the Geraldton Buccaneers.

However, in 1990 while playing for Hawks Basketball Club in a u/15 grand final his parents noticed that he really struggled to play his best and lacked coordination. This realisation along with a “minor ear problem” initiated a visit to a specialist in Perth. The doctor returned with the shocking news that Jeremy had a Brain Tumour.

This was a rare tumour with only one other case in Australia at the time.

Jeremy received an initial operation to remove part of the tumour, but the surgery left him with double vision, an unsteady gait and short term memory loss. His parents were told to take him home as there was nothing else the doctors could do for him.

However, the Morgan family wasn't ready to give up just yet. They received some second opinions from some American Doctors and they decided to give him radiation treatment followed by Chemotherapy.

Treatment took 18 months and Jeremy jumped a lot of major hurdles on the way until finally he was deemed in remission and remained that way for 11 years.

Jeremy struggled to get accepted back into school and the “teenage social world”, he quite often felt lonely and different from everyone else.

Even after illness robbed him of ever achieving his basketball dreams, he was thrilled to be crowned the Buccaneers “Water Engineer”!

He had finally become a part of the Buccaneer family and relished in it. The players probably never knew just how much he loved being a part of their team.

He loved them all, but his hero was Dan Hunt. Everything in the Morgan household was tagged No.32 (Dan's number).

Jeremy's other passion was Canteen, an organisation which offers support for young people living with cancer.

Jeremy told his parents on numerous occasions that the only time he felt normal was when he was at a Canteen camp or function. He was an ardent supporter of Bandana Day, which raises money for Canteen (This is why the Buccs have had Bandana fundraising night) and there still are quite a few people who have drawers full of bandanas sold by Jeremy! His smile and sense of humour would win them all!

On March 2002 Jeremy was once again diagnosed with cancer. He accepted this without any negativity and was ready for another battle with the deadly disease.

Whilst having treatment at The Mount hospital in Perth, Jeremy was named 11th man for the Buccs. He was so excited he wanted to get in the car, head home and wear his number 7 singlet proudly.

That night in April when he ran onto the court to play his first game with the Buccs, his chest was pumped and he had a huge smile on his face. He had no nerves (that was left to his Parents) and was ready to play ball. That night in preparation for the game, Jeremy shaved his hair as it was starting to fall out from the Chemo.

Jeremy was always positive that he could beat cancer again, but sadly it was not to be. Jeremy passed away on the 28th September 2003, just 27 years young.

The Buccs honoured Jeremy by naming their bench after him. When the Buccs play today they remember him as they sit on “Jeremy Morgan Bench”.

 

Dan Hunt's Recap of Jeremy's Buccs Game

“I remember the game that Jeremy played very well. It was against the Perry Lakes Hawks.

We won the tip and passed it to Jeremy. Jeremy dribbled down court and nailed the lay up throwing the Eighth Street Stadium into an absolute frenzy. The noise was deafening and I don't think it will ever be that loud again.

After the game Al Erickson and I carried Jeremy around the court on our shoulders while the packed house payed tribute to the true Aussie Battler. Only the Buccaneers grand final win compares to the feeling I had that night, even though we lost to Perry Lakes by 40 points!!!

He was the most loved young man you could ever meet. Everyone's face lit up when Jeremy walked into the room.”