Palos Verdes basketball coach Brian Edelman tells team he is fighting colon cancer

Palos Verdes High School basketball coach Brian Edelman has begun treatment for colon cancer.
(Palos Verdes High School)

Brian Edelman had some difficult news to tell his Palos Verdes basketball players on the first day of classes. He revealed he had been diagnosed during the summer with Stage 4 colon cancer at 33 years old.

“The players were devastated by the news,” junior varsity coach John Schweisberger said.

Edelman, a walk-on coach, was named the Daily Breeze coach of the year last season, when he guided Palos Verdes to the Division 3A semifinals.


Now the Palos Verdes Peninsula community will try to aid him. A GoFundMe page has been started to help Edelman during his treatment.

One of his former players, Craig Messenger, just graduated from college. He offered this insight into Edelman.

High school sports have an unfortunate tendency of wringing the passion out of young athletes. The militant sprints, rigid drills,
whistle filled tirades. It’s just a game. It’s our game.

Brian Edelman coached me in high school the same way that he coached me when I was 12, which is to say that he has a fortunate tendency of tossing us young athletes back into an ocean of passion.

I remember during freshman year we were playing Redondo, and Brian was coaching their team at the time. I shot from just in front of the opposing bench. The ball probably erred wildly off the backboard from all that I remember _ because all that I remember is turning around and seeing Brian smirking at me. At me. Surely, he must have forgotten about the big competitive charade we were all participating in?

I smirked back _ as his point guard ran by me on a fast break, probably. That was a lifeless first year of basketball. Rumors of Brian’s PV return were circulating towards the end of that season, and program-wide excitement circulated with them. When he walked through those doors we could all exhale, we could take the time machine back a few years. To when it was just basketball, just the game. To when it was just fun. To where it could be, again.

At our year end banquet that old spring, I told Brian that he wasn’t my high school coach as much as he was my friend. He was content with that. I’m sure I’m one of one hundred kids who has told him that by now. Brian doesn’t coach for the politics and the ego-trips that seem to fuel many high school coaches. He doesn’t coach for accolades, or even really for the wins. He coaches for the fun, for the sly smirks _ for fostering a love for the game that persists far after school is over. He coaches for John, and Sam, and Steve. He coaches for you. He damn sure coaches for me.