Southern Miss Women’s Basketball coach battling cancer for second time

Joye Lee-McNelis Cancer Announcement

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLOX) - Southern Mississippi’s Women’s Basketball coach Joy Lee-McNelis announced Saturday she is battling cancer for the second time in four years.

She announced during the pregame radio show she was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer in her lung.

Lee-McNelis is in her 17th season with the Lady Eagles.

Back in 2017, she had surgery to remove a malignant mass in the upper lobe of her left lung.

“That’s what I just told the players,” said Lee-McNelis. “I said, ‘You know what? I am facing a storm. So what do I do? Do I let the storm engulf me? No, I can’t. I can’t because I am at Southern Miss to help you develop in every aspect of your life. To learn that when you face storms that you have to be able to fight them and you have to rise above.’”

Lee-McNelis says she plans to keep coaching as long as she is able to this season.

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