Bulls Sign 17-Year-Old Fan Who Suffered Liver Failure

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Bulls will have a new guard on the bench when they host the Nets on Wednesday at the United Center.

Bennie “Trey” Flowers might not take the court, but the Kansas City native will have plenty of responsibilities, like high-fiving his new teammates.

Trey, 17, is on the mend from surgery, after going into acute liver failure in the spring of 2015 and undergoing an eight-hour liver transplant operation.

“I am thrilled to welcome Trey to the Bulls, as I know he will be the perfect teammate and professional on and off the court,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. “Trey brings an unprecedented level of toughness and strength to our team after what he has been through, and we know he will be able to inspire his new teammates with his story. I am confident that he has all of the intangibles to be a real contributor to this team right away.”

The Bulls said Trey, who attends Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, bounced back from his liver transplant three months faster than expected, earning him the nickname “The Rockstar” from his doctors at Stanford University. Now, nearly 18 months after his surgery, Trey is able to work out again and will join the Bulls on a one-day contract, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“As outlined in his contract, Trey’s other responsibilities include watching pre-game shootarounds, touring the Advocate Center and team locker room, meeting and periodically high-fiving his teammates upon reasonable request,” the Bulls said.

Trey has dreamed of playing in the same stadium as his idol, Michael Jordan, since he learned to play basketball when he was 2 years old, according to the Bulls.

“I’m excited to be a part of the organization. I’ve always admired Dwyane Wade and am eager to experience the game at the United Center,” Trey said. “They tell me I’m a fighter because of what I’ve overcome. I look forward to bringing that fighting spirit to the Bulls.”

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