CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Beckley girls basketball Coach Bernie Bostick is having a rough year on the sideline with his Flying Eagles' record sitting at just 4-8, but he is not letting it get him down.
After all the 10th-year coach has been through a lot worse.
Almost exactly a year ago, Bostick underwent surgery to have his prostate removed after cancer was discovered.
"I knew four guys who all found out about the same time as me and I am the only one still alive," Bostick said. "It makes you realize there are more important things in life than sports."
Not that he has mellowed his approach to coaching much. During a recent two-point loss at Nitro, he was every bit his boisterous self, alternating between screaming encouragement to his players and yelling at them for mistakes.
His cancer was caught early enough and the surgery so successful that, so far, he has not needed any follow-up chemotherapy or radiation treatments, as no sign of the malignancy has returned.
"I still have to go back every three months to be checked," Bostick said. "But so far, so good."
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WASHINGTON REDSKINS quarterback Robert Griffin III will not be able to speak at the Big Atlantic Classic tip-off banquet after all.
Coming off knee surgery two weeks ago, his doctor decided it was simply too risky for the former Heisman Trophy winner to be put on a plane to fly to Beckley to speak Sunday.
"He's doing okay," event organizer Jim Justice said. "But he just had surgery on both knees and is just two weeks into rehab."
With the help of Griffin's surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, Justice was able to line up a pretty good replacement, though. Carolina Panthers quarterback and 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton will be stepping in for Griffin Sunday.
"We had to move and we had to move really quick," Justice said.
Newton led Auburn to the 2011 BCS Championship and was top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl after setting a record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14.