Nysean Giddens hopes to provide a great future for his team and family.
Growing up with an absentee father meant I never once looked in the stands to see my father looking down on me with admiration. Knowing that so many other young kids go through similar circumstances, my heart always go out to them.
As a boy, it seems to be even more important to have Dad in your corner, as opposed to Mom, because boys become men, and dads. Mothers can’t teach young boys all there is to know about manhood, so we strive for that relationship with our fathers, or father figures, no matter their mistakes.
I see this in Flagler Palm Coast’s Nysean Giddens. Tuesday’s game was the first time his dad, Eric, watched him play in three years, since his release from prison. Nysean and I have been talking about that day for nearly a year, and, watching him play, I could see the nerves get to him early on. But, when he settled in, his dad witnessed one of the best players in the area drop 25 points and 16 rebounds in the first game of the season.
Back in his freshman year, when his dad was sent off, Nysean said he felt lost: “Everything happened so fast, and I didn’t know what to feel ... All my life, my dad been telling me to go down the right path and don’t mess up like he did in high school.”
He says people often tell him that his father was one of the best basketball players to ever play at FPC, but he messed up and fell in the streets. Living in a bad neighborhood in Bunnell, Nysean regularly sees the drugs and violence that have taken so many lives and ended potential careers, but he’s doing everything in his power to avoid those potholes, and he hopes to reach college and help his family move to a better environment.
“My senior year is here, and my dad is finally home and on the right path, and I’m ready to show him that I will not make the mistakes he’s made,” Nysean said. “I’m feeling healthier than ever and ready to lead my team to Lakeland.”
With his father, now, in his corner to cheer him on, I hope Nysean not only leads his team to the promised land, but I hope he eventually leads his family there, too.