Roy Marble played basketball at Iowa from 1985 to 1989. Marble was a fan favorite and left as Iowa's all-time leading scorer with 2,116 points. He was drafted in the first round of the 1989 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks. Marble retired from hoops in 1995.

Today is Thursday, December 13th. This would have been the 52nd birthday for Roy Marble. As most of you know, Roy died of cancer back in September of 2015. It's a day I will always remember.

Roy was one of my best friends. I met him one summer while working on a charity concert in Cedar Rapids. We really hit it off and became very close. I'll be honest, we were drinking buddies. Roy loved having a "Bud Heavy" and chilling with his friends.

Everywhere we went, people wanted to talk to him. He'd take pictures, sign autographs and was always super cool to EVERYONE who approached him. That's the kind of guy Roy Marble was. He was the best and everyone who was close to him knew that.

My fondest memory of Roy was traveling with him to his hometown of Flint, Michigan. It was 2014 and his son Devon was about to be drafted. We all met his family and friends at a local restaurant to watch the broadcast. I remember how proud Roy was when Devon's name was called. I'm so glad I was there to see that special moment. It was also the first time I saw my friend cry.

Roy moved in with me during the summer of 2013.  I was going through a tough time in my life and he served more as a therapist than a roommate. Our "sessions" consisted of drinking beers, joking around and talking about life. He was there for me when I needed it most. He helped me through a rough patch and I never told him what that meant to me.

I'll never forget the day Roy found out he had cancer. He was sitting on my couch when he told me the news. I couldn't believe it, there was no way it could be true. But I figured Roy could beat this. I mean, he played sports at the highest level. My friend never gave up and was a champion on and off the basketball court. He left and I remained optimistic.

Photo: Marble

Unfortunately, it didn't take long. Roy started the chemo process and a few months later he was gone. I'm mad at myself for not spending enough time with him those last few days. It's something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life.

Happy birthday, Roy. You meant so much to me and I miss you everyday. I wish I could have said goodbye.

Most people in Iowa remember you as a legend....but to me, you were a friend.

A BEST friend.