For Loyola College freshman small forward Bobby Bossman, this is a season of dedication.
He is playing in memory of his sister, Brooke, who died at the age of 20 after an asthma attack during a club volleyball practice at Ohio University on Oct. 31, 2001.
"She was my only sister," said Bossman, who was a senior at Strongsville (Ohio) High outside Cleveland at the time of her death. "It was only me and her. We were definitely a lot closer than a lot of other siblings."
Inscribed on the tape protecting his right ankle before every game are his sister's initials "BMB," her high school basketball number 23 and his number 22 at Loyola.
"She had a cardiac arrest at practice, was taken to the hospital and died," said Bossman, whose father, Thomas, played football at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio.
Asked whether he learned any athletic skills from his older sister, Bossman replied: "No, I had to teach her."
Bossman went on to average 23 points, 15 rebounds and four assists as a Strongsville senior and was named the Most Valuable Player in the Pioneer Conference.
At Loyola, he has started half the team's games and operated as one of the first players off the bench in the others. He leads the Greyhounds with 32 three-point field goals.
"It's working out pretty well here," he said. "I expected to play some, and I'm happy with what I'm getting. But the academic reputation was a big factor in why I chose Loyola."