And The Crowd Goes Wild

“The Whetstone crowd began to chant: ‘Ian! Ian! Ian!'”

by Debbie Freece

Ian has a larger-than-life personality. He’s outgoing and extremely gregarious and is a natural team player with a love of all things sport.

While a student at Whetstone High School, Ian ran on the cross country team and representing Whetstone on the Special Olympics Basketball team. During his sophomore year, a game against Whetstone’s biggest sports rival, Centennial High School, was scheduled on a regular school day. Students from both schools were invited to skip class and attend. The gym was packed.

Unlike traditional basketball, Special Olympics basketball focuses on teamwork — everyone on the team must score a basket to win the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Whetstone was down by two points and one young woman hadn’t yet scored a basket. As the clock ticked down, Ian hustled for rebound after rebound — each time passing to his teammate until with only a minute left she sunk a basket and tied the game!

The Whetstone crowd began to chant: “Ian! Ian! Ian!”  I remember being overwhelmed to the point of tears at the love and support coming from Ian’s classmates.

As the referee put the ball in the air, Ian snatched it, dribbled down the court, and put the ball through the hoop winning the game. Whetstone erupted in cheers!

Now, nearly two decades away from high school graduation, Ian still gives back to Whetstone by serving as manager at nearly all home games for many of the school’s sporting events. Whether it’s boys basketball, girls basketball, girls volleyball, or baseball, he’s there getting things ready for the teams and making sure all has been put back into place when the game has ended.

When not volunteering at Whetstone, Ian can often be found at Ohio State games, particularly football, baseball, and hockey. He plays in two different dart leagues in neighborhood pubs, and enjoys watching the Columbus Blue Jackets on television with his adorable cat, Bailey. He also works part-time at The Flag Lady Store in Clintonville.

I may be his mother with a mother’s bias, but I do believe Ian lives a boundless life.

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