Ryan Rasul is always at home on the basketball court. When he’s there, he doesn’t take a day for granted.
CLEVELAND — When fifth grader Ryan Rasul is on the basketball court, he feels at home. He knows that if you put in the time and effort, it will lead to great things.
“I want to go to the NBA. I want to be a basketball star,” Ryan said.
But before he makes it big, he has some very important work to do. It’s called Little Hands and is his youth basketball program he created with his father Harold Rasul at Citizens his Academy Southeast.
“By teaching basketball basics and dribbling skills, we empower young athletes to develop hand-eye coordination and confidence,” Ryan said.
His mother, Ramona Smith, says gaming has always been in his blood.
“Well, we brought Ryan home from the hospital with a basketball in his hand. Told.
Harold was a college ball and coach at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights. He is impressed with his son’s natural ability to connect with his players.
“The fact that he’s just one of those kids who understands his powers and realizes, ‘I can lead this little hand,’ and that’s just powerful,” Harold says to me. told us
Years ago, Ryan’s basketball dreams were anything but promised, so it’s powerful.
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“He’s a survivor…not one, not two, but three brain surgeries,” Harold said.
In 2014, Ryan was diagnosed with ependymoma. A cancerous tumor was found in the back of his brain that controls vision. Right before surgery, his parents had a moment that no one was ready for.
“I always remember when they let me take him to the operating table, and I thought, ‘Why did they let me do that? ‘” “Because this could be the last time she’s with her son,” the nurse said simply. And it was so powerful and honest,” Harold said.
Nearly nine years later, Ryan is thriving. It’s hard to look back, but we’ve learned valuable lessons.
“Those moments are some powerful moments in my life in his mother’s life,” Harold said. Because that’s what it brings me. That’s what wakes me up in the morning.”
Also, healing? Being on the court with Ryan and the other players.
Some are experienced dribblers, while others are new to dribbling. For Ryan, it will also be his first as a head coach.
“I saw some smiles. Because they want to remove it from their system. So they get more confident when they get older,” Ryan said.
Our students are improving day by day and having fun. Ryan wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s his “why”. And he never takes this journey for granted.
“Teaching children these skills at an early age is important because they build habits, they can build bad habits, and they watch what we adults and big kids do. Because they are,” said Ryan.
Editor’s Note: The following video is from an unrelated previous report.
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