SEATTLE -- Andrew Moritz, a walk-on basketball player for the University of Washington from 1996-1999, passed away Saturday after a three-year battle with cancer.
His mother and four sisters want people to remember Moritz as an inspiring man with a never-quit attitude.
He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, known as desmoplastic round cell tumor, nearly three years ago. At the time, doctors gave him only a few months to live, said his mother, Marilynn Moritz.
"But he also had the attitude of, 'I'm not giving up,'" she said. "And he battled until his dying breath."
"Every time he was told no, he never got discouraged," said Rachel Moritz, one of Andrew's sisters.
Moritz and his family chronicled his battle on a blog: Andrew's Journey. His sister, Elizabeth Denton, wrote most of the posts, which included detailed information about his condition and treatments. Even Andrew relied on the blog for updates until the very end.
"We wake up last Sunday morning and he said, 'Liz, I had to read the blog this morning to find out what I was doing,'" Denton said with a laugh.
Moritz was a member of Washington's teams that made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 1998 and 1999. He earned the Brandon West Award for the Husky walk-on of the year in 1999.
"We all loved him," said Donald Watts, who played with Moritz during college. "He ended up being someone who was a huge part of our everyday environment."