Survivor: Anthony Returns To Court After Life-Threatening Illness

If you ask Gerron Anthony, he will tell you.

He is not just happy to shoot hoops with his John Tyler teammates. He's happy and thankful he's alive.

"I couldn't sleep, I was barely eating, I was breathing hard," Gerron explained. "I had red splotches all over my chest."

After treatment for a staph infection, Gerron and his doctors thought the worst was behind him. But over a two month period of bouncing from hospital to hospital, the doctor determined Gerron was suffering from MRSA, a deadly form of staph infection.

Gerron was taken to Children's Hospital in Dallas. Pneumonia had also set it. Gerron had surgery to clear his lungs.

"I stayed in ICU for a good week," Gerron said.

It was a nightmare for the man Gerron calls coach and dad: Gerald Anthony.

"I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," Coach Anthony said, "because every night we didn't know if he was going to make it. Just waiting in that waiting room, every night you would hear a family crying. What happened was one of their kids passed. It got to the point that we were scared to stay in there so we started staying in the room with him."

Gerron lost over 40 pounds in just two weeks.

"They said that if he was smaller, he would have died. Period. The doctors said there were no if's, and's or but's," Coach Anthony said. "Because he was so big and physically in shape and had that size, dropping that much weight, that fast, didn't affect him."

"It was four people that had what I had at Children's (Hospital) at the time," Gerron said. "She said out of those four, including me, I was the only one who survived."

"I was thanking the Lord everyday," Gerron said. "Everyday I woke up, I was praising the Lord."

Gerron came home just before Thanksgiving. Father and son, coach and player had always spent time together, but Gerron said his father always lets him know just how much he is loved.

"It made me feel like I was young again, you know, when you sit in your mom and dad's lap. That's how I felt. I felt really special."

"We've always been real close, we always do a lot of things by ourselves," Coach Anthony said. "But it just makes us a little bit closer."

Through the month of December, Gerron worked hard to regain strength. He returned to game play at the first of the year.

"We monitor everything he does," Coach said. "We tell him to keep his hat on. We don't want him to have a relapse because they said if he has a relapse, it's worse than what he went through the first time."

Gerron said occasionally his body still feels a little tired and needs its rest during a practice or game.

It is a bit or a reminder for the teenager of where he was just three months ago and how far he came.

"It's taught me not to take anything for granted."