ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) is proud to announce the Winners of the 2014 National STUDENT-Athlete Day Giant Steps Awards and Texas A&M’s Fabyon Harris was among those honored.
Giant Steps Awards are given in conjunction with National STUDENT-Athlete Day, a program of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). National STUDENT-Athlete Day honors the hard work and dedication of high school and college student-athletes nationwide who have excelled in the classroom and on the playing field, while having made significant contributions to their schools and communities. Since its inception, over 3.6 million student-athletes have been honored with award certificates for their outstanding achievements.
Giant Steps Awards are given to individuals who have overcome adversity while still succeeding in life, who use sport as a vehicle for positive social change, who break down barriers to provide opportunities to those who follow behind them and individuals who inspire us to do great things using the positive aspects of sport.
The mission of the NCAS is to use the power of sport to effect positive social change. We educate and empower individuals and organizations by inspiring values-based thinking leading to actions that promote social responsibility and equality.
2014 National STUDENT-Athlete Day Giant Steps Awards
Jason Beverlin - Bethune-Cookman, Coach
Memuna Mansaray McShane - St. Andrews Episcopal School, Courageous Student-Athlete (Female)
Fabyon Harris - Texas A&M, Courageous Student-Athlete (Male)
Wayne Embry - NBA Legend, Barrier Breaker
Landon Moore - Founder and Director, Star City Soccer Foundation
DiKembe Mutombo Foundation - Community Organization
Jack Burleson - Former Cross Country Runner, A Hero Among Us
More on Fabyon Harris…
Fabyon Harris grew-up living amid abandoned houses on some of Chicago’s most crime-ridden, gang-infested streets. Streets where violent crime is the norm. It was that violent crime that took the lives of his mother and her unborn child when Fabyon was only six years old. Fabyon doesn’t remember much before that time, but admits to being a troubled kid, rebelling against anyone who tried to steer him in the right direction. His frustration and anger led to constant suspensions from school, his being kicked out of summer school and having to repeat a grade.
He continued to rebel until he found sport. He started playing football and while he was a good basketball player, he was happier on the field. Unfortunately, in ninth grade his appendix burst ending his football career. His older brother Fabias was a local basketball star and started working with Fabyon, helping him become a better basketball player. He worked hard and earned a spot on his high school team. Being part of that team made Fabyon see how important his grades were. His coach told the entire team that in order to play, they had to earn good grades. Fabyon remembers watching most of his teammates walk out of the locker room immediately. They’d already given up on themselves, something Fabyon refused to do.
Fabyon’s coach believed in him, making him the team’s starting point guard as a sophomore. It was Fabyon who had to believe in himself. He started believing himself and realized he needed to give up playing pick-up games in his neighborhood where he began to get into more trouble. He knew it was time to move forward, work toward college and becoming a better player. It was the only way to a better future. Life had truly been hard on Fabyon, he faced so much loss in his young life. After losing his mother, he also lost his cousin, younger brother and best friend to separate violent crimes. He wears tattoos proudly on his body honoring each of them and wears the number 12 on his shirt as a tribute to his brother who died on April 12th.
Fabyon has done something so many other young people are unable to do. He’s lifted himself up and fought to overcome adversity. At Texas A&M, he is in a place where he feels safe, is thriving and is a true inspiration to the people he meets. Nothing in life has come easy to Fabyon including academics, but the decision he made to succeed in life through education and basketball has inspired him to work hard and achieve all of his goals.