Lofton: "I have been very blessed"

Chris Lofton and Bruce Pearl released statements Thursday regarding Lofton's battle with cancer, which took place in spring 2007.

“I would like to thank everyone for respecting my privacy during the past year and I hope that they continue to do so. This has been a very difficult time for me and my family but it has brought us closer together. I have been very blessed that we were able to catch everything early so that now I am OK.”

“There was a point this past season that I was asked about Chris Lofton's health almost every day. While knowing all of the underlying issues, the Lofton family requested that we respect their privacy as a part of the HIPPA laws regarding the release of medical information.

Recently Chris and his family chose to talk about some of the medical issues. Chris Lofton is one of the toughest players I have ever been around. Not once did he make an issue of what he has gone through. Never once did he complain. I think that his health issues were a factor in his play early this past season. He physically and mentally overcame all of the challenges associated with battling cancer and serves as a tremendous role model to all of us.

Even with everything he has gone through, he will go down in history as one of the best basketball players at the University of Tennessee. One day his jersey will hang in the rafters alongside some of the greats like Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King. It was an honor, privilege and joy to coach number five.”

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