CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Kyla Buco will soon put her skills to the test to honor a man who made her feel like she mattered.
The Cranston High School West sophomore will take part in A Shot For Life Gauntlet, a 24-hour basketball marathon meant to loosely symbolize the emotional and physical struggle patients endure in their fight against cancer.
Buco will be participating in memory of David Decosta, her friend’s father who died last year after a six-week battle with glioblastoma.
The 15-year-old said Decosta volunteered for years as the scorekeeper on her travel team and always supported her, both on and off the court.
“He gave me my love for basketball, he really did,” Buco said. “He pushed me every day … He was just the best.”
Buco said participating in the gauntlet was a no-brainer for her.
“Since [Decosta] was such a big part of my life growing up, I felt like giving back to him,” she said.
Decosta’s daughter Camille wasn’t shocked by her teammate’s kind gesture.
“She grew up with my dad and he was always there for us,” Camille said. “He was there for it all.”
Camille, a sophomore at La Salle Academy, told 12 News she misses spending time with her father.
When asked when she misses her father the most, Camille said every time she steps onto the court.
“He’s the reason I play, and every single time I think of him and pray to him,” she said.
Buco said shooting hoops for 24 hours is the least she can do to honor Decosta.
“I’m just going to keep going,” she said. “I push myself every day and I practice every day. When I’m proud, I know he would be proud and I’m just going to try my best.”
Buco will be participating in the gauntlet on Nov. 11 at the Starland Sportsplex in Hanover.