SAN ANTONIO — Life has challenges. For those who spend a life in athletics, some challenges are on the court, others are off.
Winning at basketball? Mike Peck is winning at life: "Some guys don't understand or see the value in it now, but down the line they do," coach Peck remarked.
Coach Peck's daughter Madison suffers from a rare genetic syndrome called 18 q minus. A portion of her 18th chromosome is deleted from her genetic code.
"Madison at 20 years old, all we've known since she's a baby is that we're changing diapers," said Peck.
A handful of Saturdays ago, the UTSA men's basketball team did their day of service, one close to coach Peck's heart.
"He's just a loving, hardworking guy. He's a great person, great human, great family," members of the team said.
"Just to be able to tell your story to someone that has the understanding of going through the day-to-day challenges, there's I guess a sense of ease and comfort in knowing that," Coach Peck said.
"Without speaking a word or even taking a step in her life, she's taught us way more than I'll ever teach her or that I'll ever be able to teach any of our players. They're people and they live. They're human beings that have lives."
So make that two missions in the man's life: win on the court, and maybe, more importantly, win the battle to learn more about chromosome 18.
"If a cure isn't on the horizon, just the support that the registry provides and the connection with families that are also going through what we're going through with what we've experienced in our life with Madi, I think there's huge value in that."