Robert Caplin (Ohio University)
Award of Excellence
Ohio University senior basketball player, Delvar Barrett, is far from the average college athlete. Along with shuffling classes, basketball games, practice, studying, and his social life, Delvar lives with and acts as caregiver to his mother, Vivian, who is stricken with diabetes. Poor medical care after living in the poverty-stricken, inner city of Detroit, where Delvar grew up, has now left her blind. On top of it all, Delvar, too, has diabetes and a young daughter, Kierra, who lives with her mother in Detroit. Because of his mother's ailments, Delvar must take his blind mother Vivian to the doctors office where he leads her through the halls to the examination room.
Vivian injects herself with insulin to battle her diabetes as Delvar waits to retrieve the used syringe. Delvar makes her dinner every night and she eats it in her room at a TV tray listing to the television.
Delvar assists his mother in taking off her shoes and socks at a doctors appointment. Vivian must show the doctor her feet because diabetics lose sensation in their feet and sometimes don
Barrett flips from being a caretaker to a student and admits having trouble keeping up with his assignments because of all the responsibilities he faces caring for his mother. Barrett's English professor Shannon Lakanin talks to him about making up the assignments he neglected to turn in. Barrett admits if it weren't for basketball scholarship, he wouldn't be in school and probably still in the projects.
On top of being a caretaker to his mother, Delvar must change roles and be a father figure to his five-year-old daughter, Kierra who lives with her mother in Detroit. Kierra only visits her father a few times a month, but Delvar intends to move closer to his daughter when he finishes school in the spring.
Speaking on the phone with his girlfriend after a long day's workout, Delvar decides what to do for the rest of the evening. Fall and winter quarters are especially busy for him with his many basketball obligations. He admits that if it weren
His passion for basketball shines as he prepares for a free-throw during one of the many home basketball games. Now as a senior player, Delvar has become a very popular player on the team and fans are often heard chanting his name.
Normally listening to her son's games from home, Vivian attends her first college basketball game, which ironically is Delvar's last as she walks to center court to shake hands with head coach, Tim O'Shea, during Ohio's Senior Night Game. Coach O'Shea helped make special living arrangements for Delvar and his mother prior to joining the team.