Star Takes Jump Shots and Insulin Shots

Adam Morrison likes beating the odds.

His team, Spokane's tiny Gonzaga Bulldogs, has blossomed into college basketball's favorite Cinderella story. And Morrison, once the team water boy, now is a shooting phenom, averaging 28.6 points a game -- the best in college basketball.

But it's the shots he takes off the court that have earned him legions of loyal fans and the die-hard support of every player on his team.

"They have the utmost respect for him," said Mark Few, Gonzaga's coach."And the reason they have the utmost respect for him is they see what he has to go through every day, every hour."

Morrison has type 1 diabetes -- a life-threatening illness if not treated daily.

His success in basketball has thrust him into the spotlight and made him a role model for others with diabetes.

"He's really taken a stand above and beyond that which would be required of anyone," said Dr. Kevin Kaiserman of the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, "and everyone in the diabetes community is thankful for his efforts."

"It's cool that I have that kind of effect on a person," Morrison said. "And it's cool to be a role model and try to help people out in a positive way."

Methodical Approach

Every trip to the beach includes what he calls a "pit stop" -- a check of his blood sugar level, and sometimes a shot of insulin. Competitive in all things, Morrison got the routine down to 30 seconds during high school with the help of his mother.

Wanda Morrison said her son has attacked his illness head on since the day he learned of it.

"His nurse came in to give him his second shot," she said, "and he just stopped her and said, 'Look, you might as well show me how to do this. I'm going to have to do it for the rest of my life.' And he was an eighth-grader."

Off the court, he wears a pump that regulates his insulin levels, sparing him the required four shots a day. During practice, he keeps a bag of protein bars and fruit drinks on hand, just in case.

Morrison also has eating down to a science. On game day, he eats the same breakfast and lunch at regular intervals. And then exactly two hours and 15 minutes before game time, he eats steak and a baked potato -- every time.

"Diabetes is really right around the corner for a cure," Morrison said. "Maybe if I raise awareness, I'll raise money and get this thing jump-started toward a cure."

Morrison and his team are in the throes of March Madness, and he already is talked about as a future professional star.

He once told his mother the only opponent that could bring him down is diabetes -- an opponent he's been beating for years.

ABC News' Neal Karlinsky and Peter Imber originally reported this story for "World News Tonight."

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