Syracuse's Mangakahia remaining positive, persevering through breast cancer fight

Syracuse point guard Tiana Mangakahia has received four chemotherapy treatments and is remaining positive with four still to go. Despite having to sit out this upcoming season, she still plans on returning to the court for the Orange.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 12:20 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 12:20 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Syracuse point guard Tiana Mangakahia is halfway through treatment for breast cancer and says she often wonders, "Why me?"

Mangakahia says the feedback from doctors has been good. Tests on Friday will give her a clearer idea of her recovery.

The Australian star is one of the nation's top players and came close to entering the WNBA draft.

Mangakahia says her condition has caused her to think more about life's simpler things, but she maintains she's still the same person. She says there are "certain things you can't control. You just have to kind of handle it and get through it."

Mangakahia noticed a lump on her left breast in early June. She had a biopsy and mammogram and was told four days later she had stage 2 breast cancer.

She went public with the diagnosis on July 1, saying that she knew the support from the central New York community would make the process a bit easier for her.

"One of the main reasons why I decided to go public with it is because of the support I receive throughout the season," she said. "When I am playing, I get a lot of support and I feel like just letting the public know a little bit about what I'm going through also helps me as well."

She has undergone four treatments of chemotherapy up to this point and still has four to go.

"Everything is looking good right now," she said. "I have a couple more test on Friday to find out how everything is going. So once we find out on Friday, we'll know more."

Mangakahia will sit out the 2019-20 season while recovering from the illness. She said that she will apply for elibility from the NCAA to return to the court as a grad student for the Orange in 2020-21.

Video courtesy of Syracuse Athletics and CNY Central in Syracuse

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