Greenfield Native Beats Cancer, Hopes to Return to Hoops in ’21

By Benjamin Cox on February 18, 2021 at 3:09pm

Kassidy Walters runs the offense for Ripon Collge vs. Beloit in November 2020. (Courtesy Ripon College Athletics)

A Greenfield, Illinois native has beaten back cancer and now hopes to beat a few opponents on the basketball floor once again. 2018 Greenfield High graduate Kassidy Walters was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after playing 11 games for the Ripon College Red Hawks in 2019. The then-college freshman underwent treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital for over two months, celebrating her final chemotherapy treatment in April 2019. The 2018 Alton Telegraph Small-Schools Girls Basketball Player of the Year is now two years cancer free.

Despite not being on the court, the small Division 3 college in Wisconsin put Walters number 22 on their bench before games. Walters also maintained her grades during treatment, reaching the Dean’s List, in hopes of one day returning to the court. Back on November 30th, Walters scored her first bucket since being diagnosed with cancer. She appeared in 13 of the team’s 27 games, and averaged a little less than a point a game off the bench. She also was Academic All-Conference last year.

The Midwest Conference announced back in December that it would not play a winter sports season due to COVID-19. Walters is hopeful that she will get to return to the court with the rest of her teammates next fall. She told Ripon Magazine that she hopes to return to college athletics as a coach or sports psychologist after she graduates in 2022.