Bobby M.

Tacoma Center YMCA

Bobby Moorehead is what many might call an underdog, though you probably wouldn't guess it at first glance; the Stadium High School senior has a bright future ahead of him. After he graduates this month with a 3.1 GPA, he plans on attending Montana State University, where he'll major in Business and fulfill a hard-earned dream of playing college basketball.

What's unique about this story is that Bobby didn't even begin playing basketball until his freshman year of high school. In a sport where success is usually dependent on years of experience, summer leagues, and intense training, Bobby is an anomaly. Naturally skilled, he sought out guidance to help him hone his skills and gain exposure. His mom emailed the Y hoping he could find a place there. That's exactly what happened.

"Staff have been amazing and helped with basketball recruitment," he says. Sidelined with a foot injury last summer, time was running out. "Colleges did not know who I was," he continues.

Bobby took this as incentive to work even harder, committing to disciplined 6am workouts at the Y 4-5 days a week. It paid off, as this year, Portland State, Washington State, Seattle University, and Montana all took notice of him and his work ethic.

Bobby credits his experience at the Y with helping to make his dream a reality and gratefully reflects on the staff who invested in him, stating that they taught him so much more than basketball skills. "I learned life skills, how to act on and off the court, (the importance of) school work, and how to represent my community."