Za’Quabiain Harris lives on his own in an Oklahoma City youth shelter, but it’s his family on the field that picks him up and keeps him on the right path.
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Za’Quabiain Harris is a high school senior at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City.
By appearances, Quay isn’t much different than the other eight million high school athletes in the United States. Physically, he’s bigger, stronger, more imposing than most, but he still fits the image of a typical high schooler that loves playing sports.
Only, he’s anything but typical.
Quay lives on his own in a youth shelter.
He doesn’t have a mom to wake him up for school in the morning. He doesn’t have a father to put food on the table. There are no guardians to enforce good behavior, and there are no siblings to confide in.
Instead, his family is on the field.
It consists of coaches who see him as more than a jersey number, and teammates who are there to always help him up.
And while these people are worthy stand-ins, Quay doesn’t expect the same unconditional love from them that a traditional family is supposed to provide.
My coaches are doing something they don’t have to do. They have their own family.
Good coaches, however, understand their job is more than drawing up Xs and Os. It is their responsibility to lead, help, and love. Unconditionally.
This is why sports transcend competition and feats of athleticism. Sports teach life lessons. They provide an escape from reality. They form families.
In Oklahoma City, Fields & Futures has made it their mission to help kids find a better path in life. By rebuilding and maintaining athletic fields across Oklahoma City’s largest school district, kids like Quay are able to realize their purpose and potential.
Despite his unenviable situation, Za’Quabiain Harris carries a 3.7 GPA and plans on going to college. His family on the field couldn’t be prouder.