SPOKANE, Wash. - Brandon Chastain never complained once. In eleven years of life he experienced things people should never experience. He had three brain tumors. The third one proved fatal.
"They gave him two to four months and that little turkey went four and a half," Brandon's mom, Jo Lynn Chastain said. "He's now in a better place. He's not sick, he's not hurting. I just miss him. That's what it comes down to." Jo Lynn said the toughest conversation she's ever had was the time when her only son asked her what his future had in store. "He asked if he was going to die and I said 'yes'. He said, 'Am I going to see you up there and I said of course," Jo Lynn Chastain said. "He said is there going to be a Zips up there and I said, 'Yeah, I think there's a Zips up there." Brandon's beautiful personality stayed with him until his final days and it didn't take long before the whole Gonzaga basketball team recognized his loving soul. They visited with him several times and invited him to watch their games. "Brandon just thought it was amazing that he was even around the Zags so it was really special," Jo Lynn Chastain said. But it was a year ago today that Brandon lost his life. It just so happens that a year ago today marks one year since Gonzaga's first round game in the 2012 NCAA tournament. The players learned of his passing before their first round game with West Virginia and in interviews after their win they said they played that game for Brandon. Jo Lynn Chastain says Brandon is still following the Zags every step of the way. "I know he's watching. He's gotta be." So if you're wondering why this season has been so successful it's a mix of talent and inspiration -- inspiration that will never leave.