Please click here to visit a site set up by the Moritz family in chronicling Andrew’s journey.
Let’s be honest, even the most hardcore Husky sports fans may not remember the name “Andrew Moritz.” Moritz was a point guard out of Seattle’s Franklin High School who averaged all of 2.2 minutes per game over the course of his 34-game, four-year University of Washington basketball career. From 1996 to 2000, Moritz was the guy behind the guy behind the guy. He was Donald Watts’ backup’s backup; ditto for Sweet Shootin’ Deon Luton, Senque Carey, and some guy named Dickau. Moritz may not have been the most memorable collegiate athlete of all-time, but if you’re a Seattle sports fan you need to know about him.
Looking back at his University of Washington player bio will fill you in on just who, exactly, Andrew Moritz is. First off, Moritz was a walk-on that stuck around for four years. Those types of players are rare and come few and far between. Imagine going to your job every day and working for free. That’s essentially what Moritz was doing. Prior to his senior year, he received a well-deserved scholarship…then went on to receive the second-lowest games played total of his four-year career (eight). You have to roll with the punches, I guess.
A short question-and-answer session in that very same bio reveals some insight into Moritz’s off-the-court nature. One of his two favorite athletes as a kid is listed as Alvin Davis. Awesome. Mr. Mariner. What a bad-ass answer. His favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” so we know the gentleman is cultured. When asked why he chose the jersey number he used to sport, Moritz cited it as being the date of his birthday. The jersey number was 11, putting Moritz in good company with other Seattle athletes who donned the one-one (Detlef Schrempf, Marques Tuiasosopo, and Edgar Martinez, just to name a few). And under “best advice I’ve ever been given,” Moritz issued this response: “Laughter cures a lot of pain.”
Moritz, now 30 years old and living in St. Louis, may need a healthy dose of laughter in the near future. After arriving in Seattle to visit family during the holidays, Moritz experienced pain in his abdomen before checking in with a local physician to see what was wrong. The news was bad. Instead of hearing about indigestion, Moritz was told he had tumors near his liver. After further testing, it was revealed he had been stricken with a rare form of cancer which has no cure. Now, faced with a challenge that no one should ever have to endure, Moritz will begin a battle with a disease that has directly or indirectly affected so many of us.
According to a website set up by his family, the outlook isn’t good. But you have to figure that if there’s anyone in this world who can beat this thing, it’s a former walk-on, a guy who knows more about hard work and dedication than most of us could ever learn in a lifetime. That’s what will define this battle more than anything else. Not the disease, not the cancer, but the man in the fight. A guy who won two state championships in high school, who played with a number of future NBA players in the preps and in college, who credits his grandfather as the person he most admired, and who went with his Husky team to the Sweet Sixteen.
For now, let’s keep Andrew Moritz in our thoughts and prayers as he begins a journey that will only serve as the gateway to the rest of his life. If you have kind words, memories, or laughter to pass along to Drew, you can visit his website by clicking on the top of the page, or click here to visit a Facebook group created in his honor. On behalf of all Husky fans, we wish Andrew the very best as he begins a battle that we all know he can win. You can do it man! Go Dawgs!