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Ben Birnell | Observer-Dispatch | July 2, 2019

Syracuse women's basketball star Tiana Mangakahia on breast cancer diagnosis: 'I will come out stronger'

Jim Dedmon | USA TODAY Sports Images Syracuse women's basketball point guard Tiana Mangakahia revealed she has breast cancer Monday.

Syracuse women's basketball point guard Tiana Mangakahia revealed she has breast cancer Monday.

Mangakahia, a 24-year-old student from Australia, made the stunning announcement in a story posted on the Syracuse athletics website.

"Just over a month ago, I found a lump on my left breast so I went to the health center and got it checked out," she wrote in the post. "Throughout the following weeks, things have progressed quickly. I've undergone various tests and got a biopsy on Friday, June 14."

She said in the post that "this is just the beginning for me and I will come out stronger."

"On Tuesday, June 18, I got the results back and it was a day I will never forget. On this day, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer (Grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma). As of right now I am starting chemotherapy on Friday and will have to undergo surgery after treatment. I know this will be tough, but I will get through it. ... I have much more to accomplish and I hope to inspire others to overcome their own adversity just like I know I will."

#TOUGH4T: NCAA student-athletes, coaches rally behind Mangakahia after her announcement

Orange coach Quentin Hillsman expressed his support for Mangakahia on Twitter.

"I am heartbroken. Tiana is a tough lady. She will have the complete support of everyone associated with our program as she goes through treatment. Tiana is a grinder and I know she won't back down from this challenge," he wrote.

Mangakahia led the Orange last season with 16.9 points per game and was the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in assists (287) and assists per game (8.4) for the second season. In two years with Syracuse, she is the fastest player in school history to score 1,000 career points and accumulate 500 assists. She is Syracuse's all-time assists leader with 591.

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"This is beatable and I will fight and win," she wrote. "I want to thank everyone who has reached out already and those who will support me moving forward. Since I decided to forgo the WNBA draft and return to Syracuse for my final year, I've been working hard and training so my team and I can achieve our goals. Now my focus has shifted to fighting cancer, and I will come out a stronger person."

This article is written by Ben Birnell from Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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