MILWAUKEE - A key member of the Milwaukee Bucks organization is back in the lineup. You may not know his name, but he's been a part of the organization for five years.
The energy in the Deer District comes from the Bucks Grand Dancers. They're the ones who greet you when you arrive and get you dancing, and a key member is back in their lineup.
Andres DeLeon knows how to get a party started. He and his wife, Diane, have been Bucks Grand Dancers for five years.
"We thought, ‘When we retire, we want to be part of that,’" said Andres. "That’s what we did."
As they celebrate the Bucks' road through the playoffs, it's also a celebration of his own journey.
"The start of this Bucks' season, I was hospitalized," said Andres. "I was in a coma for six weeks."
DeLeon spent four months in the hospital after complications from COVID-19.
"I wasn’t able to walk or stand up in my hospital bed," said Andres. "Six months ago, we were just happy to walk in our condominium hallway for six minutes. Then, six months later, we’re dancing with the Milwaukee Bucks."
Through it all, the Deer District is where he wanted to be.
"When the Bucks said that we could come back ‘when you’re ready come back,’ that was so motivating for him," said Diane DeLeon.
On Saturday, May 7, he was upgraded from out to the starting lineup.
"Miracles happen, and he’s right here telling us about it," said Diane.
Andres wants his story to remind people that even when life hands you something that feels like a 0-3 deficit, with a little help, you can keep moving through the playoffs.