PORTLAND, Ore. -- During Scott Lynn's biweekly chemotherapy treatments, he would unfold his laptop and furiously type away -- determined to bring closure to a nearly lifelong obsession before cancer got the best of him.
Since Lynn was a teenager, he had been enamored with Thornridge High School's 1971-72 Illinois state championship team -- a squad led by future NBA star Quinn Buckner.
Lynn was convinced those Thornridge Falcons formed one of the best-ever prep teams. So convinced that for most of his adult life he tried to find a tape of the state championship game, to no avail. So convinced that before his diagnosis, he decided he would write a book.
Colon cancer brought his obsession into sharp focus, and resulted in "Thornridge: The Perfect Season in Black and White," Lynn's book on the championship team.
"Truly I didn't know if I had a deadline or not," he said.
Lynn has been sports director at Portland's KEX radio for more than 20 years, freelancing on the side as a commentator for regional sports TV broadcasts. He has won numerous accolades for his work, including awards from The Associated Press.
His journey started two years ago, when he was planning a trip home to Illinois to visit his ailing father.
During the trip, he sat down for a marathon all-day interview with Thornridge coach Ron Ferguson, going through all his scrapbooks. They went over each game of the perfect season -- something Lynn would also do in the book.
Over the course of the day, Lynn realized that the Thornridge legacy was about more than just basketball.
"I just went in to do a 'Boys of Summer' type book. But as I started finding these players around the country, I found that there was an even better story there about the early days of integration."
In 1968, Buckner was part of the second class of minority students to attend Thornridge. So was Boyd Batts. Mike Bonczyk, Greg Rose and Ernie Dunn rounded out the starting lineup.
Lynn recounts the story about how Batts caused a stir when he held the hand of a white cheerleader at a trophy presentation. Ferguson had to talk to the team about it afterward -- one of many conversations about difficult issues the coach would have with his players.
Batts wound up at UNLV under Jerry Tarkanian. He played basketball overseas for a few years after that, and has since worked in various jobs.
Buckner became the most widely known of the Thornridge players, enjoying a 10-year NBA career, including the 1984 NBA championship Boston Celtics. He is now a broadcaster for the Indiana Pacers.
Lynn, whose real name is Scott Betzelberger, was a senior playing at a rival high school that season. His team lost in the playoffs before it was to face Thornridge.
He says his team could have defeated the Falcons, although a smile betrays the truth.
Over the years Lynn would often reminisce about the team, and searched in vain for video of the championship game. He always thought someone should write a book about it.
In 2008, he decided HE was that person.
When Lynn got back home to Oregon after his summertime visit to Illinois and meeting with Ferguson, he began his research in earnest. He conducted interviews in between his radio spots for the morning and afternoon drive times.
"Christmas 2008 was when I going to start to write," he said. "And that was when I got hit with this pain."
Lynn was rushed to the hospital with severe stomach pain and doctors quickly found the source: colon cancer had blocked his intestines.
After emergency surgery, Lynn spent several weeks in recovery. Then came chemotherapy.
Although his prognosis after surgery was encouraging, time was precious. Lynn wanted to get the book done, just in case.
So he worked on the book during his eight-hour chemotherapy sessions every other Monday, writing as the chemicals dripped into his veins. And then he wrote more while his body recovered from those sessions.
And before he knew it, he was finished.
"It was tough, but it really gave me a great thing to focus on, instead of what was happening to me," he said. "All the other people sit in that room, just dealing with it the best they can. Some read, some sleep, some just sit. It is really depressing and sad. But I had a goal. I had to get my book done."
Lynn self-published his book, which is available through his own website and online booksellers such as Amazon.
He has yet to break even, but that hardly seems the point.
His cancer has not recurred since he wrote it. And he has heard from Thornridge fans across the globe. Ferguson, 78, called him in tears to tell him that he had heard from players he hadn't spoken to in decades.
"I feel really good about this. It touched a lot of people," he said. "My son said to me, 'Dad, you wrote a history book.' I guess I did."
A team's history. And a man's legacy.
On the web: www.thornridgebook.com/