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Friday, July 10, 2020

Sports > High School >> Basketball

Team Zeno grows: Community rallies behind Fallsburg star in her fight against cancer

Jul 19, 2019

By Joseph Abraham - sports and life editor

Fallsburg standout athlete and student Amanda Zeno has a team of supporters behind her as she battles cancer.
FALLSBURG -- When it comes to academics or her opponents on the parquet floor, Fallsburg standout student athlete and rising senior Amanda Zeno has had no problem with the competition. However, the 1,000-point scorer, who academically is ranked No. 1 in her class, is now facing her toughest challenge yet... cancer.

Zeno was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and has been undergoing chemotherapy.
While the fight won't be easy, Zeno has a large team behind her consisting of friends, coaches, family and loved ones who've offered constant support whether it's via messages or making visits to be with her at the hospital.
One of these visitors was Fallsburg Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Dan Redmond who stopped by to see Zeno with his family on Monday. Redmond has coached Zeno since she was in the eighth grade.
“Amanda is one of the sweetest and nicest people I've met in my lifetime,” he said. Redmond added that as great as she is on the court, she's even better off it. “She's one of the most strong-willed and heartfelt people,” he continued. “She strives for the best in everything she does.” Redmond praised the Zeno family, and noted that the way Amanda represents her school and family, bars none.
The Section 9 basketball community has also offered their support (a couple local teams such as Goshen, have made donations to the Zeno family) and offered well wishes.
Monticello Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) Deputy Executive Director & Section IX Representative Chris Russo told the Democrat that the 2020 Sullivan County BCANY vs. Cancer Classic will be dedicated to Zeno.
Zeno, in a Facebook post, noted that she and her family have decided to embrace the situation and not hide from it. She also noted that Acute Myeloid Leukemia is treatable.
“My treatment and the process is going to be rigorous, physically and mentally,” Zeno said. “It will be long days, rough nights, but I WILL FIGHT.
“It's an unexpected chapter in my story, but I will make it onto the next chapter,” she continued. “Some things will be put on hold, but once I get better, I have my whole life to do everything I desire. My dreams haven't changed, and I don't plan on changing them.
“I am extremely overwhelmed with all the love, support, gifts, and donations my family and I are receiving during this very difficult time. Just know together we will get through this and I can't wait to be back on the court very soon. #TEAMZENO.”
Her mother, Maria added, “I am so grateful for the support from both the home community and the basketball community. Amanda is such a wonderful kid and it shows in all the support we are receiving.”
A GoFundMe has been created to help the Zeno family with out of pocket medical costs. To donate, visit

Team Zeno Day set for Aug. 4
GymRatz Performance, where Zeno has trained for years, is hosting a Team Zeno Day on Sunday, August 4. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at GymRatz Basketball Center (1723 State Route 17A, Florida, NY).
There will be raffles and prizes, basketball games and competitions, adult and kids games, bounce houses and more. The cost is $20 per car and proceeds go directly to the Zeno family.
“I've known Amanda Zeno since she was in sixth grade,” said GymRatz Performance Owner Dustin VanLieu. “She was the first athlete I started training in the area, waking up at 6 a.m. to train on the outdoor courts in Fallsburg before school started. Her and her family became my own over the years, and our support for each other became mutual, both on and off the court. As a dad of three daughters, Amanda is the type of young woman I want my girls to aspire to be both on and off the court, and I just feel the need to do anything I can to support her in anything she does, and this is no different. Because that's what family does.”
Want to get involved and/or donate items for Team Zeno Day? Contact VanLieu at or at 845-649-6837.

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