NC State baseball finds inspiration in young fan
Posted May 14, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — There is no question as to who the most popular guy in the North Carolina State dugout is.
"Every time he comes (to a game), the kids just flock to him," said head coach Elliot Avent of the Wolfpack’s most idolized spectator.
Harrison McKinion is 10 years old and he loves Wolfpack baseball. Nine innings at Doak Field are the perfect escape for McKinnon - who hasn’t had the best year.
"Being out here with these guys, it's so much fun for him and encourages him a lot,” said Harrison’s father, Steve. “It was Dec. 9; he was a little pale and had some pain in his legs. He wasn't feeling
real well. They told us he had leukemia."
It didn’t take long for Harrison’s story to spread in the community and to the NC State baseball team.
"I went to his house to see him around Christmas time and took some goodies over there,” Avent said. “The smile on his face is something I will never forget."
The players are equally as touched by Harrison’s story and find inspiration in the 10-year-old.
"Nobody should have to go through that,” said catcher Danny Canela. “Being as strong as he is, it’s
something special to see." More N.C. State Stories
Outfielder Ryan Matthews echoed Canela. “Just to have him there is a reminder, and the relationship in general, it really just puts life in perspective."
The bond between the players and Harrison are based on mutual admiration, though.
"They're really nice to me and treat me really good," Harrison said.
Avent said that Harrison is a big part of the Wolfpack team and can claim some responsibility for their success. Harrison’s father is equally as grateful to the team.
"These guys could be doing a thousand other things, but they are spending their time with Harrison," Steve McKinnon said.