Chameka Scott, the former Baylor women’s basketball star who helped the Lady Bears claim the program’s first national championship in 2005, died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. She was 33.
Scott was remembered as a gregarious and optimistic person by friends and family, many of whom offered up words of sympathy on social media.
“I love you buddy! No more pain!” wrote Chelsea Whitaker, Scott’s teammate on that 2005 team, on Facebook on Sunday.
Former player Stasha Richards, wrote, “I knew you were special from day one. Knowing you, playing with you, being a part of the Baylor family with you has truly been my honor. They say the good die young. I hate that in this case, it’s true. Your light, your smile will shine forever. Just speechless right now.”
Scott underwent a colonoscopy in 2015 in which doctors discovered a malignant blockage. She had surgery, and was thought to be cancer-free. But the cancer recently returned, and she had been undergoing treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in her hometown of Houston.
“She just needs a lot of prayers,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey told reporters in a recent press conference. “It’s tough.”
In 2016, Scott told ESPN that being an athlete helped in her fight against the disease.
“As an athlete, my body had been tested physically day in and day out,” Scott said. “So the challenges I had to face with cancer … no matter how hard it got, I knew there was a process. You push your body hard, and then you build it back up. And the discipline to do that is like playing.”
When Baylor held a reunion in 2015 for that national championship squad, Scott remembered the experience – and the parade that followed — as one of the most enjoyable of her life.
“First time riding in a Corvette, that was awesome. But it was packed,” Scott said. “It was super-packed, actually. I remember going through the streets, and every time we turned there were more people and more people, until we finally got to the end. It was pretty awesome.”