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Betty Wiseman's Off-Court Breast Cancer Battle is Touching Lives- Meagan O'Halloran

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NASHVILLE-Few rivalries are as heated as Wednesday's "Battle of the Boulevard". At Belmont University, there's an even bigger battle than the one Belmont and Lipscomb are fighting on the basketball court.

Betty Wiseman brought women's basketball to Tennessee nearly 50-years ago. Now Wiseman is facing a battle bigger than any she ever had on the hardwood. Through her journey, the hoops pioneer is inspiring a whole new generation.

"It can take over your life if you let it. I said to cancer, 'you may invade my body, you can try to take over my mind and emotions, but you will not control my spirit'. said Belmont's former Assistant Athletic Director and Women's Basketball Coach Betty Wiseman.
               
She is 70-years old, but Betty Wiseman's youthful spirit is keeping her strong  these days as she faces her toughest opponent ever---breast cancer.

"If I said it was easy and a piece of cake, I'd be lying. So I'm gonna be honest with you. I'm very weak right now but in your weakness, you can allow God to be very strong in your life". Betty takes that grace with her wherever she goes.

"The best way I can describe her is literally an extension of God" said Belmont Senior basketball player Molly Ernst.

Despite the fact she hasn't coached a game in 29-years, Betty is still a mentor and an inspiration to current Bruins coaches.
           
Cameron Newbauer is the current Head Women's Basketball Coach at Belmont and said it is an honor to follow in Betty's footsteps. "Her legacy is one I'm hoping to carry on with our players" said Coach Newbauer.

"We can never give back to her what she's given to us" said Belmont's Head Men's Basketball Coach Rick Byrd.

Betty began giving back to Belmont in 1966. Shortly after graduation she started teaching at her alma mater.She founded the women's basketball program two years later before Title IX laws were even enacted. Betty led the program for 16-years, receiving numerous honors and accolades during her time on the sideline.

For Betty though, wins and losses were never what mattered as much as building character in young people.

"I hope that I've made a difference even during these days and weeks and months in my weakest moments" said Betty.

Betty leans on her Belmont family, as well as her faith. She realized after a recent conversation with her pastor that anything is possible.

"He said Betty, I think you're gonna do your best teaching through this journey, and you know, I think he's right".

Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, had surgery in March, and underwent seven weeks of radiation. Betty retired in May and says she believes she's healed from the cancer.

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