Southern Virginia University basketball player and ill wife look to teammates and Mormon faith for strength

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23 2013 2:00 p.m. MST

The Southern Virginia University men's basketball team is dedicating Wednesday's home game against Mary Washington University to Nattie Brooks, who was recently diagnosed with a rare illness, by wearing teal socks.

Dinah Rogers, Southern Virginia University

Our take: After the wife of Southern Virginia University senior shooting guard Payton Brooks was diagnosed with a rare illness, the team decided to dedicate their next home game to the Brooks family. Nattie Brooks explained that this experience has brought her and her husband closer to each other, as well as to their LDS faith.

The Southern Virginia men's basketball team is dedicating Wednesday's home game against Mary Washington University to Nattie Brooks, wife of senior shooting guard Payton Brooks, who at the age of 24 was recently diagnosed with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) — a rare illness caused by pregnancy-related tumors.

"Our team will be wearing teal socks on Wednesday to show support for Nattie," said first-year coach Tony Caputo, who currently has his Knights (9-3) off to the best start in school history. "We are hoping for a record turnout and invite all fans to wear teal to show solidarity with the Brooks family."

Nattie, who has never missed one of Payton's home games in two-and-a-half years of marriage, was diagnosed with GTD in late September, four months after the birth of the couple's first child, Eason Brooks.

"We were shocked and scared when we first heard the diagnosis," said Payton. "We had so little information at the time and so many questions. All the worst scenarios run through your mind and I just remember thinking how important Nattie and Eason were to me."

Read more about the team's support for Brooks on SVU.edu.

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