PELHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from WBRC Sports Director Rick Karle:
Perhaps the best part of my job is being able to meet great people. In over 36 years in television (easy on the old man jokes) I've had the opportunity to meet famous athletes as well as down-home folks.
From the memorable to the inspirational, I have been blessed to have met all sorts of folks: Pro and amateur athletes and their families. Spending time with the Hawthornes of Pelham was a joy. Mom Felecia is the family's smiling, outgoing personality. Dad Demond is the family's athletic yet thoughtful competitor. And teenager Hasaan is the perfect combination of both: A rather quiet kid with a quick wit who I'm sure can cut up with the best of them when the TV sports guy leaves the room. A competitor who hates the fear of failure as much as a loss itself. Put the three together with 13-year-old Chase, and you have a really cool family. A family who knows a thing or two about persistence in sports and in life.
So what if he had legs amputated below his knees just days after his birth back in 1998? Hasaan Hawthorne soon learned to walk with prostheses. So what if he broke them up to twenty times by the time he was a teenager? Hasaan played baseball, he swam, he played basketball, he ran track. But nothing bit him like the wrestling bug when he walked into a gym in middle school. After that, the sky was the limit!
I hope you enjoy the incredible story of double amputee Hasaan Hawthorne and his quest to win a high school state wrestling individual title. The making of a champion took years of tears and sweat, but as you will see in the piece, the Hawthorne family was up to the task!