OSU football: More to tell about Jeremiah Tshimanga
Even though the story in Sunday's edition of The Oklahoma was more than 2,000 words, staff writer Gina Mizell still couldn't fit every detail into the powerful story of a young man who has persevered through homelessness and abuse.
NewsOK Related Articles
He's a quiet guy, but when I asked him why he first reached out to help his teammate, he gave a pretty selfless and thoughtful answer.
“I think everybody should be treated the same,” he said. “I'll give anything I have to somebody that doesn't have anything. I'll do whatever I can for them to have equal to what I have, or even more.”
Two years ago, the Richland starting linebackers were Jeremiah, Michael and current Cowboy Nico Ornelas. Nico is a big reason why Jeremiah was familiar with and ultimately signed with OSU. Maybe Michael will join them after he finishes at Tyler Junior College.
*While Jeremiah was living with Michael and his mom and stepdad, Stacy and Richard Wade, they invited Jeremiah's mother over to their house a few times and also took Jeremiah to see her at a homeless shelter in Fort Worth. Richard provided a powerful image of what that environment was like.
“You hear gunshots just a block down the street,” Richard said. “It's a pretty scary place. I can't imagine kids living there. You wouldn't want to go out at night.”
*When asked about the financial sacrifices made to bring Jeremiah into their home, Stacy quickly mentioned the amount of food they had to buy. That makes sense for a 6-foot-3, 230-pound teenager, but she also noted that Jeremiah's brain has likely been programmed to eat as much as possible whenever food is available.
“He's serious about eating, because he's been without before,” she said. “So he's scared he's not going to eat again.”
*I asked Jeremiah about the hardest part about his past. He didn't mention anything he personally had to go through. He talked about not being able to watch his sisters grow up, his brother not being able to play football and his mother not being as involved in his life.
“The hardest moment was probably just thinking about not having certain people in my life that I wish could enjoy what I'm enjoying,” he said.
I appreciate the kind feedback that the story has already received. If you're on Twitter, be sure to thank Jeremiah (@OSU_Linebacker), as well. I wouldn't have been able to share with you unless he shared with me.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 38644Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15211Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 9740Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 9154Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 8873Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 7777Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7381Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister