Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- We’ve seen SU’s magic on the court, but one kid understands it better than anyone.
9-year-old Nick Trivelpiece has cancer and the team “adopted” him four years ago old through the “Friends with Jaclyn”
– an organization that connects kids with brain tumors to sports teams.
Nick was there to wish the players good luck as they headed to Atlanta, where they’ll take on Michigan in the Final Four.
A shoulder pat from an SU star would be a highlight for any little boy, but for Nick, the attention takes his mind off the brain tumor and therapy that consumes his days.
Even with cancer threatening his life, Nick still made sure each player and coach was taken care of with a bag of candy for the trip.
“I like to give them a little good luck thing/present because it's almost like the championship and I really want them to win,” Nick told NewsChannel 9.
And, gifts from the team keep him motivated long after Jim and Juli hug him goodbye.
“The hat is very special. I got it yesterday from the SU team when he [Coach Boeheim] talked about the game plans,” Nick continued.
After four years as an honorary member of the Orange, Nick believes he's had a little something to do with their success.
“This is another good luck charm I sent them,” said Nick as he showed us a bracelet he gave the team. “It says ‘Never give up’ and it says ‘Nick’ on the back and I gave one them to Carmello too.”
Melo returned the favor by signing a shirt for him, one of the many prized possessions Nick has hanging in his bedroom.
Nick even got a piece of the net that was cut off by James Southerland during the Elite Eight game, something he can add to the rest of his memorabilia.
After seeing the team off, Nick is excited to watch them on TV. Especially his favorite player Michael Carter Williams who he says always makes him laugh.
“Like he dribbles up to me and he wants me to play defense and he does these tricks I have no idea how to do. He puts the ball around me and puts it through my legs,” Nick said.
All are moments he looks forward to again when he can leave his cancer at the door and hang out with his heroes on the court.
Nick plans to watch the game on Saturday with his parents at home.