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VFL Grant Williams surprises Knoxville fan battling cancer on Facetime

Before the NBA Playoffs, the Vol surprised Seth Palmer on Facetime to help lift his spirits. Williams is now playing in the NBA Finals and Seth watches every game.
Credit: AP
Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) celebrates with teammates while approaching the bench as the Celtics lead the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 109-81. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee men's basketball forward Grant Williams surprised a Knoxville fan with cancer on Facetime a couple of months ago.

Before Williams' stellar performances in the postseason on his way to the NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics, he made time for Seth Palmer. 

Palmer has had a tough year.

Last November he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia—a form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

"You never think you'd be the person to have cancer," Palmer said. "I thought I'd be the last person. It's been rough, but I've gotten through it with the help of my family and my friends."

He has tried to remain positive through this time. His family wanted to do something special for him to help lift his spirits.

Palmer has always been a big fan of Grant Williams since his playing days with the Vols. "I thought he was probably the greatest Tennessee player to play basketball of all time," he said.

Williams now plays for Palmer's favorite NBA team, the Celtics.

Through a friend who knows someone who coaches in the NBA, they were able to get a hold of Williams to Facetime Palmer.

Seth had no idea what was about to happen. On March 12, he was given the phone.

"Oh my gosh," Palmer said in shock as it was the first time he'd ever gotten to talk to his favorite Vol basketball player.

Williams responded by asking him what was going on and how he was doing. He told Palmer he planned on sending him a jersey and wanted to hang out with him the next time he was in Knoxville.

"That really meant a lot and showed that he cared," Palmer said. "He has such a busy schedule and for him to make time for me is out of this world."

He said that Facetime meant the world to him. It is something that will stick with him forever. "It was probably the greatest thing to ever happen," he said.

Palmer plans to go watch one of Williams' games in Boston next season. He told Williams that on the Facetime and the NBA pro said to let him know when he's coming so they can meet up.

Palmer hopes to see Williams continue to succeed in this postseason. He's keeping a close eye on the NBA Finals.

The Celtics and the Golden State Warriors play in Game 3 at 9 p.m.

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