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Morgan State University basketball jerseys bears a No. 4 for teammate Anthony Anderson, who has been fighting acute leukemia.

Wherever Morgan State’s basketball team goes this season, the Bears take Anthony Anderson with them. He was in Winston-Salem, N.C., last week – in spirit, at least – when they won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament championship. And he’ll be in Buffalo’s HSBC Arena on Friday – emotionally – when they play West Virginia in an opening-round game in the NCAA East Regional. Physically, the 19-year-old from St. Charles remains at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has been waging a fight against acute myeloid leukemia since October.

If things had gone better, Anderson would have joined his teammates in Buffalo, a reward for four rounds of chemotherapy. He asked his teammates a week ago to win the MEAC so he could go to an NCAA tournament. But his blood cell count was too low, and Anderson’s dream trip was denied. He had his hopes up, I had my hopes up,” his mother, TaWanna Williams, said on Wednesday. “I talked to him this morning, and he said, ‘Mom, it’s OK, I’m not going to let it get me down any worse than what this has gotten me.’ He’s had his moments. His back pain was so bad this morning, he was crying.”

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