ODESSA -- For the fifth time in eight years, the Permian Basin was represented in the Super Bowl by Odessa High graduate Marcus Cannon. On Sunday night Cannon won his third Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots, the most for any player from the Permian Basin.
What many don't know is that Cannon's professional career almost ended before it could begin.
"Never thought I would have made it to my fifth Super Bowl, and I'm thankful for everything," said Cannon.
Marcus Cannon has played football for his whole life. After his family moved to Odessa from Roswell, New Mexico, he was a star on the field for the Odessa High Bronchos.
If he was given the chance, there is one thing Marcus would want to tell his 18-year-old self.
"I'd tell him 'Always believe in the dream. Set your goal high, and don't stop until you achieve that goal'," said Cannon.
That advice would be tested in 2011 when Cannon was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the body's white blood cells.
That diagnosis led to almost every team passing on Cannon in the NFL Draft.
"I remember the day it happened, I was devastated. But I understood what it took to get through something, and it built my faith in God. My faith in Jesus. Because I wouldn't have gotten through without them," said Cannon.
The Patriots gave Cannon a chance, and after missing half of his rookie season while recovering from chemotherapy he's played in an incredible 18 NFL playoff games.
"I mean golly. You just have to tip your hat to a guy who has the work ethic to come back from those kinds of adversities. He's left a legacy here, and a standard for our young men to uphold, and try to work to maintain," said Odessa High Bronchos head coach Danny Servance.
The NFL sends gold footballs to every high school that has produced a Super Bowl player. At Odessa High, that ball is on display for every student to see.
"He's one of us. He's paved the way for our kids to look at him and look up to him, and understand that any goal that you have is within grasp," said Coach Servance.