Ex-USF starter Mosley succumbs to cancer

Published October 30, 2005

TAMPA - One of James Holmes' favorite memories of his USF basketball teammate and friend Bradley Mosley was when he asked for a ride to the mall the first year they lived together.

Holmes didn't have a car and Mr. Mosley did, but because Mr. Mosley was headed home to West Palm Beach for the weekend, he told him he wouldn't give him a ride because Holmes didn't have a ride back to campus.

"I said, "Who are you, my dad?' but that's who he was," Holmes said. "That was the first time I thought of him as my big brother. He was definitely caring for you, all the time."

Saturday was the day the Bulls had hoped would never come, as Mr. Mosley, 22, died at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach after a year battling a rare form of kidney cancer.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Bradley, and it is an extremely difficult time for us as a team," coach Robert McCullum said. "There are no words to express our feelings and Bradley's impact on this team."

Mr. Mosley was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, which no patient had been known to survive. He had chemotherapy on campus at the Moffitt Cancer Center, motivated by the chance he might return to the Bulls. That fight and fearlessness, that relentless positive attitude, inspired his teammates and fans.

"There are days when guys feel like they're tired, when they don't feel like practicing, and everybody has those days," center Solomon Jones said. "James told the guys today, we can't come out and complain about not wanting to practice when here was a guy who wanted to be there, wished he could so much, and he's gone. We have to make the most of every opportunity we have now."

Mr. Mosley, a shooting guard, had shown that toughness on the court during the 2003-04 season, playing all 40 minutes in 12 of the team's final 14 games. He averaged 14.6 points as a junior, second on the team. Last season, his presence on the bench, wearing a black 'do rag and baggy street clothes, was even more powerful. The cancer took him from 185 pounds to 139 in barely a month, but it never took away his hope.

His absence could be as powerful this season. Though Jones and Holmes are the only remaining Bulls who played in a game with him, they'll make sure his legacy is passed on.

"We always knew he was a fighter, would never give up on anything," said Jones, who also played with him at Daytona Beach Community College. "He's going to motivate me and James the most. The new guys will see that, and they shared experiences with him over the summer."

The Bulls wore a patch on their uniforms last season with his nickname, "B-Mo," and his jersey number, 12, which players also would write on their socks for motivation.

Teammates were surprised to hear the news of his death but had feared it might be coming because they hadn't seen him in the first two weeks of practice and knew how much the team meant to him. "Literally, every time we were together, we had a good time," Jones said.

Mr. Mosley is survived by his mother, Lisa Ferguson, sister Breona Mosley and brother Eddie Adams.