Brian Edelman PV High boys basketball coach

Palos Verdes High boys basketball coach Brian Edelman

On the heels of its best season in the program's history, Palos Verdes boys basketball coach Brian Edelman began feeling as if something wasn't right.

"You can call it digestive issues, an upset stomach, indigestion. Stuff like that," Edelman said. "All things I'd say were stress-related from being a coach, and I brushed them to the side thinking it was stress."

In June, Edelman went to see a doctor when he found out it was more than just stress-related. He was told he had colon cancer.

In August, following a lung biopsy, Edelman was told the cancer head reached stage 4.

"Hearing the diagnosis, I obviously felt shocked, saddened and surprised," said the 33-year-old coach. "Everything comes at you one at a time. First thing is you hear 'you have cancer.' Then an oncologist tells you it's stage two. In a way, you get use to hearing the bad news, or not all of it at once."

It's not the first time Edelman's family has been hit with a cancer diagnosis. Both sides of his family have carried the cancer gene.

After beginning treatment in July, Edelman kept the diagnosis relatively quiet until the first week of school. That's when he told Sea King basketball players and parents.

"The most important thing for me was I wanted to tell my team first," Edelman said. "My family, a few friends and some people at work knew, but I wanted to tell the kids and parents when school started."

While the reactions were mixed, his goal was to let the players know how much coaching them means to him.

"A lot of the kids took it hard, and there was a lot of emotion, which is good to show," Edelman said. "It was good to get it out and show me they care. I've been coaching a lot of these kids since they were in third or fourth grade. I go way back with a lot of them."

Not yet ready to step away from the court, Edelman looks at coaching as a motivator to put colon cancer in his rear-view mirror.

"I want to be there for the boys. If I'm there, they'll be there for me," Edelman said. "We have a great team this year, and I want to see our seniors succeed. I think it's great for me to have something to look forward to.

"When I'm getting treatment, I'll look forward to coaching in a week or two," he said. "It's something I can use to be well, to be healthy and have a positive mindset. At no point have I stopped moving because I want to."

PV Athletic Director Brian Shapiro reassured Edelman that despite the cancer diagnosis, his position with the basketball team was not something he needed to worry about.

"I wanted to make sure he knew that coaching and teaching isn't the priority, and wanted to make sure he knew those things didn't feel like a burden," Shapiro said. "We want him to take care of his health. The main message I wanted him to know is that he is our coach, and will be our coach as long as he wants to be."

Word of Edelman's diagnosis spread quickly following his announcement to his players.

"There's been a lot of support from the community, PV High, the basketball community and the outside community," Edelman said. "You coach and you help a lot of people, but then you read the emails and texts from former players and parents. Hearing it all definitely helps me."

Knowing treatment will continue during basketball season, Edelman has a plan in place for the PV basketball program.

"The thing I want the most for my team is not a lot of change," Edelman said. "If I'm not at practice, the staff will step up. We've had the same staff for the last five years. The game plan for the kids is keeping everything normal."

As of Tuesday, a GoFundMe page started on Edelman's behalf had raised more than $69,000.

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