By: Susan Holcombe

Today’s story comes from Susan Holcombe – mother of Rion.  A video of Rion’s reaction to receiving the news that he had been accepted to Clemson University went viral.   He’s a true athlete (swimming, basketball, and baseball).  Thank you Susan for sharing another story with us!  (You can read more about Rion in two stories on our Guest Blog page.)

D is for Determination – to be 
on the team

When Rion was 13, he expressed to us that he wanted to join a basketball team.  Now, Rion is great at “shooting hoops”, but he knows little about passing, dribbling, fouls, outs, etc….But we never say no to Rion.  We signed him up for a Christian basketball program called Upward Basketball.  Some of the other 12 year-old boys on the team were very accepting while the competitive ones kept the ball from him. 
Game after game, Rion would be on the court with no one passing him the ball.  This frustrated him to no end.  Also, Rion is very sensitive to sudden loud noises and the buzzer scared him to death.  For this reason, he played with earphones on his head to block out the blaring noise.  I am sure this looked strange to the others.  It was during the third or fourth game that the coach encouraged a boy to toss Rion the ball.  
Rion had this special shot he would always make in practice.  He would always make it from the sides, just right or left of the basket, no matter the distance.  Rion was motioned to go to his “special spot” and sure enough, he made the shot!  From that game on, the boys would toss him the ball when they could and he made that basket over and over!  

At the end of the season, Rion was awarded the MVP for scoring the most points and for having a Christian attitude throughout each game.  The best part of this experience?  

When Rion made a shot, parents from BOTH teams stood up and cheered and he was always congratulated by the opponents at the end of each game.