Former Pitt back Conner to release autobiography


Lake Fong/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/MCT

Pittsburgh Panthers then-running back James Conner dives to score a 14-yard touchdown against Duke in the first overtime at Heinz Field on Nov. 1, 2014. Duke won 51-48 in double overtime. Lake Fong/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/MCT

By Stephen Thompson, Assistant Sports Editor

Former Pitt football running back James Conner announced via Twitter yesterday that he has written a book about his life. 

Harper Collins’ Publishing has made “Fear is a Choice: Tackling life’s challenges with Dignity, Faith, and Determination” available for preorder at $27.99 and will release it on June 16. The title “Fear is a Choice” quotes Conner from a 2015 press conference when he announced the news of his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis. 

“When I heard those words — You have cancer’ — I admit I was scared,” Conner said. “But after thinking about it for a bit, I realized that fear is a choice. I choose to not fear cancer. I choose to fight it and I will win.”

The book will offer an autobiographical take on Conner’s bout with cancer while still enrolled at Pitt and his return to the field the following season. He suffered a knee injury in 2015 season opener vs. Youngstown St., which led to further x-rays of his chest and the subsequent cancer diagnosis. 

Conner earned the 2014 ACC Player of the Year award the season before being diagnosed and upon returning to the field in 2016 rushed for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns enroute to his second career All-ACC First Team honors. 

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