Outlaw for a day: Zeke Brown beats cancer, signs with Denver Outlaws at age of 11

DENVER -- Sometimes wishes do come true. 

Ezekiel Brown is 11 years old. He loves lacrosse, plays on two youth teams, and according to his mom, is pretty good at it. 
 
"It's natural. It's like the lacrosse stick is just a part of an extension of his hand," Ezekiel's mom, Yolanda Honeycutt-Brown, told Denver7. 

During the summer, Zeke is constantly practicing and preparing for his next game. That was, until the day came that he couldn't practice or prepare for.

"I was playing lacrosse outside. [My mom] sat me down and told me I had cancer" he said. 

It was synovial sarcoma -- a tumor in the boy's arm. 

"My heart was broken," his mom said. 

"So I said, we'll have surgery and it's gonna be over with," Zeke said. 

Surgery was successful, but the threat of cancer coming back was still there. 

And then Make A Wish called. 

"My wish was to be a professional lacrosse player and be signed by Warrior," he said. Warrior is one of the biggest lacrosse brands in the world.

So that's exactly what happened. On the day the Denver Outlaws were set to take on the Chesapeake Bayhawks, a limo pulled up in front of Zeke's house.

He was treated to a tour of the Outlaws locker room, met the players, and then saw a special nameplate above one of the lockers. It read "Ezekiel Brown #13."

"I had no words for it," Zeke said. "I was surprised it had my jersey, all the gear the players use. I had a helmet that the players wear and it was all Warrior stuff," he said. 

Then it was time to make it official. Zeke sat behind a table set up in the locker room, surrounded by a Warrior rep and the Outlaws General Manager. He signed a sponsorship deal, becoming a "Warrior Pro" first, and then penned his name to become a professional lacrosse player. 

"Welcome to the Outlaws," General Manager Tony Seaman said to applause throughout the locker room. 

"You couldn't be more inspired in a locker room in your whole life," Seaman said afterward.

Zeke then made his way to the opposing locker room to meet his all-time favorite player, Myles Jones. The new Outlaw laughed and took pictures with Jones before returning to the locker room to get ready for the game.

While putting on his brand-new Warrior gear, there was one Outlaw player in particular joking around with Zeke. It was his youth lacrosse coach, Eric Law, who is also a member of the Outlaws.

"Their relationship has developed for a couple years, so that was special to see -- all the care and love was shared between those two," Zeke's mom said. 

"I think you're ready," Law said. 

Ready for his biggest job yet as a newly-signed member of the team: Zeke led the team out of the tunnel and onto the field for the game. 

As the public address announcer welcomed the Outlaws to the field and thousands cheered, there was Zeke, running out front. He was dressed exactly like everyone else, only a foot or two shorter. 

"And your honorary captain, No. 13, Ezekiel Brown!" the announcer said. 

"I felt special," Zeke said. 

"He's made it. He’s overcome all these hurdles and he’s made it," his mom said. 

Then Zeke, in full gear, warmed up the Outlaws goalie with a few shots. His family could see the excitement in his face the entire time. 

"He’s always talked and said, 'I’m gonna be in the MLL.' And here he is, 11, a one-game contracted with the Denver Outlaws in the MLL," his mom beamed.

Zeke took his spot on the sidelines right in the middle of the Outlaws bench for the game. He watched every play, and celebrated every goal with his new team.

The Outlaws needed to win over Chesapeake to secure a home playoff spot. The game went to overtime. 

A few minutes in, Eric Law took a pass a few yards out, and ripped a shot past the goalie. The Outlaws bench exploded with excitement as players flooded the field to celebrate. Among them was Ezekiel Brown. 

"That was amazing. I had no words for it," Zeke said. 

Law picked him up and the two celebrated together. 

"It was probably the best day of my life so far," the younger Outlaw said. "Being a Warrior pro and playing with the Outlaws and a home win -- it was amazing."

 

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