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By his senior year in high school, Isaiah was an honor student and captain of the football team—but his life would take a terrible turn. On the morning of a big playoff game, he awoke to some terrible news—his mother had been struck and killed by a truck. "I remember dropping to my knees and just crying uncontrollably," he says. "That day, I can honestly tell you something died inside of me."

Isaiah says he didn't want to sit at home "wallowing in sorrow," so he decided to play in the big game. "To me, it was going be the best thing to get me through it," he says.

During the entire hour and a half bus ride to the game, Isaiah says he sat in the back of the bus and cried. "I stepped on that field, and I didn't think I was going to be able to play. I started to second guess myself," he says.

Then, Isaiah says he felt his mother's spirit. "It was like something ignited inside of me," he says. "I just went out and played, and played one of the best games of my life."
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FROM: Why They Beat the Odds
Published on March 01, 2007

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