Former Spur Elliott an inspiration, friend, and life changer


Sean Elliott

In the NBA offseason where we're used to hearing and reading about so-and-so demanding a trade for more money, this player signing somewhere else, and players holding out on fan bases in order to play where they want, there's always those small little stories that don't get much attention, but deserve our attention more than the other news.

For Renae Goettel, her life was one of unfortunate spiraling events. She was a girl born legally blind and had a complete kidney failure rate at age 12 writes Jeanette Tarcha of Goettel had to endure 18 months of grueling dialysis and numerous surgeries there after.

Just when her health looked like it was finally going to get better, doctors diagnosed her with cancer. In her time of despair came the Make-A-Wish foundation. Goettel's wish had been to meet one of her idols and inspirations, former San Antonio Spurs kidney transplant recipient Sean Elliott.

From that day that they first met through the Make-A-Wish foundation, Eliiott and Goettel have begun a unique bond that has now lasted more than 10 years according to Tarsha.


Like many Make-A-Wish recipients say, her experience was life-changing. "I returned home from my wish with an increased desire to set high expectations for myself, dream big and live life to the fullest," she said. “It's hard to find the words to adequately describe how an hour of someone's time changed my life forever."

Meeting Elliott gave Goettel the inspiration to move to San Antonio, attend and graduate from Trinity University, and eventually earn a job working for the Spurs. Today, she's a regular volunteer with the Make-A-Wish foundation and she'll be helping to take part in the 5th annual Walk for Wishes at Marymoor Park on September 23. 

Sean Elliott is popularly known as a player as being the guy who made the "Memorial Day Miracle." It was a buzzer-beating shot in the NBA playoffs in 1999 over the Portland Trailblazers on the Spurs' run to their first NBA championship.

Elliott gets a lot of fame from that shot, but 10 years ago, when he took the time to meet one special girl, he did more than just make a basketball shot, he was an inspiration, he became a friend, and even more important, he changed her life.

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Paul is an editor, writer and content manager for (@ProjectSpurs) and (@ATLeague_NBA). Paul is also the host of the Spurscast (@TheSpurscast). Paul has been a credentialed media member covering the San Antonio Spurs and NBA since 2011. Paul has been featured on numerous radio, tv, online and podcast shows.