Brain tumor doesn’t stop 21-year old Kyle Atkinson


21-year old who is told he will never be able to play basketball again prepares to walk-on to Portland State’s basketball team this fall.

Salem, OR: After discovering he had a brain tumor last April, Oregon native Kyle Atkinson was told his dreams of playing Division 1 college basketball would have to suddenly come to an end.  His life would abruptly take a dramatic halt as he prepared to undergo what ended up being two brain surgeries, three months apart.  Three weeks after his 21st birthday, Kyle checked in to OHSU in Portland, Oregon with the support of his family members and close friends. Prayers surrounded the 21-year-old as he prepared for the first, life-altering surgery.  

Kyle’s surgery was long and complex; he had a small stroke during the operation, and his life changed in ways he never imagined.  At the young age of 21, Kyle was now re-learning how to walk.  The elite shooter who shot 49% from the 3-point line his sophomore year in college feared he would never be able to play the game he loved again.  In the subsequent six months, Kyle didn’t give up hope in following his dreams.  The South Salem High School 3-point record holder went through intensive rehab and therapy to gain back strength and coordination.

The double brain surgery was not going to stop the 21-year old from the goals he set for himself as a young boy, to play college basketball at the D-1 level.  

“I stand here today as a survivor of two brain surgeries and couldn’t feel more proud of myself,” Kyle said. “I take nearly 30 pills each day and I spend a lot of time feeling drained, but the support of my family and friends, along with the amazing skills of doctors at OHSU, is what keeps me strong.”  

Kyle went from using a walker to a cane and is now preparing to take another big step: walk-on to the Division 1 Portland State basketball team – all within less than a year.  

Kyle will be honored this Saturday, May 30th at the 5thAnnual Mary Kline Classic in West Orange, New Jersey.  This event is put on by Forbes Top 30 under 30 and Recruit Scoop owner, Alex Kline.  The Mary Kline Classic brings the top high school basketball talent in the country together to compete and ultimately raise funds for cancer research in honor of his late mother, Mary Kline.

For more, contact Camala Lapray at

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