Facing several obstacles growing up, Antwan Scott used basketball as an escape route. It was therapeutic during hard times. But now he is forced to consider a life without basketball.
Doctors confirmed after Saturday night’s loss to Texas Southern, 74-71, that Scott’s ribs were fractured, and he could possibly be out for the season.
Coaches then made the decision to not play him at all during Monday night’s game.
This bothered the 21-year-old because he couldn’t imagine basketball being taken away from him - he would have no escape route – even for one game. Instead of Scott thinking about what move to put on defenders, a million other things were racing through his mind.
Since birth, Scott has fought to survive. On Feb. 28, 1992, in Rockwall, Texas, he was born to a mother who had several health problems, including drug abuse and diabetes.
“I was a crack baby for sure,” said the Dallas native. “When I was born, the doctors had said her dosages of crack had increased while she was in the hospital. They said someone was bringing her crack. It was my aunt.”
His mother’s addiction placed him in the foster care system for six years, and over the years her health continued to fail.
His mother, Theresa, couldn’t fly because of her back and at times she needed to use a walker or a cane. Scott said his mother has had five back surgeries, but she was always the loudest fan at his games.
On Oct. 26, 2012, she underwent gastric bypass surgery when doctors said her life was at risk. During surgery, a blood clot formed in her brain and caused her to be in an 11-month coma.
“She fought for years to regain custody of me,” said Scott, a criminal justice major. “That meant the world to me, and that’s why it was important for me to come back and help her fight.”
A transfer from the University of Idaho, Scott came to GSU in December 2012 to be closer to his mother. However, he was ineligible to play for a year due to NCAA regulations. He then spent a great deal of time traveling between Grambling and Dallas to visit his mother.
The last time he drove home to see her, the unexpected happened.
“I was headed to (Dallas to see) my mother,” said Scott. “I was in Shreveport and caught a flat. I changed the tire and was praying I wouldn’t get pulled over or blow out the dummy because I was doing nearly 100 miles per hour.”
By the time Scott arrived at Texas Regional Hospital in Sunnyvale, Texas, about 30 minutes from Dallas, it was too late.
“As soon as I walked through the doors (of the hospital), my sister called and said she passed away,” said Scott. He said he broke down immediately. She died from massive blood loss Oct. 2, 2013. She would have turned 43 today.
Though he sat out before this season, Scott worked his way up to earn his starting position and make a difference in struggling program. He averages 14.9 points and 3.8 assists a game.
With less than four minutes before halftime on Saturday, Scott was kneed in the rib cage by a TSU defender. Fans and players watched as he ran up and down the court, visibly in pain. Every timeout, he rushed toward the bench and iced his ribs. After 30 seconds of treatment, GSU’s No. 5 returned to the game ready to play. Scott was determined to finish.
He played to the last seconds, and attempted the game-tying three-pointer. Scott scored 18 points in the loss.
Scott, starting point guard and team captain, wants to play in the last five games of the season, regardless of the pain and what “they say.”
He explained his ability to fight comes from his mother.
“I just think about my mom,” Scott said. “She suffered for 11 months. So I can suffer for an hour and a half.”