They say through tragedy comes triumph, but how do you overcome the loss of family, especially when the family member is your seven year old brother? You look to family for love and support, and when your family is over 100 strong, you can get through anything.
For Duke University’s Shaquille Powell, that family was his Mother, Skarlet Forwood, and his coaches and brothers on the Blue Devil’s Football team.
Powell had to attend school with thoughts of his brother, Malachi Briggs, heavy on his mind. The seven-year old was battling stage 4 kidney cancer and despite the workload from school and football, Shaquille knew where he needed to be, home.
My mom really wanted me to finish class, Powell said. I said I would hold out as long as I could. Obviously as things got worse, I just said I have to go home. I have to be with my family.
Through the help of his school, coaches and the NCAA, Powell was able to return home to be with his brother and mother. Malachi passed away the summer before his senior year, and that’s something that never leaves you. But through the support of his mother, friends, teachers and Blue Devils family, Powell was able to endure, make it through that devastating loss and return to school where he got back onto the field and into the classroom.
Shaquille Powell always had dreams of making it to the NFL, and through the love and support of friends and family, he is a step away from having his dream of hearing his name be called on TV on draft day come true.