5-Year-Old Basketball Enthusiast Battling Cancer Gets Signed By Utah Jazz

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A 5-year-old basketball lover battling a potentially deadly disease was recently made an honorary member of his favorite NBA team, the Utah Jazz, for a day.

J.P. Gibson, a 5-year-old boy battling cancer, signed with the Utah Jazz on Oct. 8, 2014, (Credit: KSTU via CNN)

J.P. Gibson, a 5-year-old boy battling cancer, signed with the Utah Jazz on Oct. 8, 2014, (Credit: KSTU via CNN)

Diagnosed in 2012, J.P. Gibson has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia "longer than he has not been in his little life," Megan Gibson, the boy's mother, told KTLA-sister station KSTU in Salt Lake City.

The life-long basketball fan has been shooting hoops since he was 15-months-old, the station reported.

Surrounded by his family, the courageous boy was introduced at a news conference where he signed a contract and was given his own jersey, complete with "Gibson" written on the back.

"So I'd like to introduce a new part of our team: J.P. Gibson is the newest member of the Utah Jazz team for the day," a team executive announced at the conference.

On Monday night, the pint-sized player suited up for a scrimmage with the team. He even scored a slam dunk, with the aid of one of his taller teammates of course.

"I wish it was for a different reason," his father, Josh Gibson, told KSTU. "It's unfortunate that it's because he has cancer, but we're happy that there's great people out there that care."

The Jazz hosted J.P. and his family as part of the "Anything Can Be Project," which helps families with children affected by cancer.