Skip to Main Content
Our Alumni

Dimitrious Stanley was a football star, cancer fighter

The 2001 graduate made it his mission to help other men guard against prostate cancer, which he was diagnosed with at age 45.

Dressed in a pinstripe suit and wearing glasses, a Black man stands in front of Ohio Stadium, looking into the distance and smiling

Dimitrious Stanley was at home in the ’Shoe and considered his time playing football for the Buckeyes some of the best years of his life. (Photo by Tom Dodge, USA Today Network)

Soon after he was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in 2019, former Buckeye football standout Dimitrious Stanley ’01 created Brave Men Inc., a Columbus-based nonprofit that provides education and services to men diagnosed with this common form of cancer.

“My hope is to raise awareness,” Stanley wrote on the Brave Men website. “Prevention is the key, so let’s work together to end this terrible disease that is ravaging men’s bodies all around the world.”

Stanley, 48, died in February due to complications from cancer. He achieved great things as a football player, advocate for men’s health, broadcaster and as a loving husband and father, teammate and friend. He is survived by his wife, Jessica Stanley, and three daughters, Dakota Stanley, Alexis Daniels and Aubrie Daniels.

“I think his legacy, through his courage and Brave Men, is that something as simple as a prostate exam can have an impact and make a real difference,” says Benjamin Martin ’99 MD, one of Stanley’s doctors at Central Ohio Urology.

“We met at a charity event where he was the master of ceremonies,” Martin says. “He was very engaging and such a good speaker, a very charismatic guy.”

Stanley also was a motivated and proactive patient.

“He put everything into it,” Dr. John Burgers, another of Stanley’s doctors, says of his fight for health. “He had a wife and daughters, and they were so important to him.

“And once he realized he had an advanced cancer, he wanted to make sure he helped other men, especially African American men who might be more hesitant to go to a doctor,” Burgers says.

Stanley was a football standout at Thomas Worthington High School and earned a scholarship to Ohio State. He made an immediate impact on the field and finished his career with 63 receptions for 1,136 yards and 13 touchdowns.

In the Buckeyes’ 20–17 win over Arizona State in the 1997 Rose Bowl, Stanley had five receptions for 124 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown. A photo of Stanley with a rose clenched between his teeth after the win captured his joy and charisma.

After playing briefly in the NFL, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, Stanley returned to Columbus, where he began a successful broadcasting career. Stanley called games and talked Buckeye sports on radio and television, becoming known for his signoff: “Take care and give care.”

“He wanted men to be brave and to get checked for prostate cancer,” Martin says. “He wanted to save lives.”

Rate this story
Average: 5 (11 votes)