Every single day, amongst the routines about which Tylan Foster follows is a rather familiar, thought-provoking, life-enhancing Biblical verse.
Knowing full well he can essentially recite it with his eyes closed, Foster has arrived at a point in his young life whereby he can utter it verbatim.
Housed in Luke 1:37, such a spiritual passage reads: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
“That what I shall live by,” Foster told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “It’s a dream for me because I want to show my family, especially my grandmother, that I lost this year while playing my championship game. I want to prove that people can make it out of Forrest City (Arkansas) and give back to the community. I always keep this scripture, because it’s what’s my grandmother taught me.”
Foster, a 15-year-old freshman guard for Forrest City High, is alluding to arguably the most downtrodden moment of his young life when his grandmother passed away moments after his team had played in a title game.
According to his mother, Sharren Lennell, telling her son of his grandmother’s death was undoubtedly a disheartening encounter, considering she had just watched her son play the game he loves, although the Mustangs had fallen in the title game by just a bucket.
“My mother actually passed away February 18, 2016, the same day of my son’s conference championship game against Nettleton,” Lennell explained. “It was a bad day for him cause their team lost by two points and I had to break the news that his grandmother passed right after his game.”
Two months removed from having bid his grandmother an emotional farewell, Foster admittedly is using the assortment of life lessons taught by his grandmother to fuel his desire to excel on and off the court.
A 6-foot, 147-pound swingman, Foster was an integral part of a Forrest City ninth grade team that is coached by Christopher Williams.
“I would some it up like it was one my best seasons, because it was a growing point,” Foster said it assessing his freshman campaign. “It taught me a lot. I’m intelligent player. I have good sportsmanship and great defense. I’m well rounded by playing any position basically.”
And, to his credit, he doesn’t plan on slowing down now that it’s the offseason.
Said Chanson Newborn, Foster’s pastor and spiritual father: “He’s a driven, focused and talent young man. As long as he keeps God first and remain focused, he will accomplish great things.”
Simply put, he knows full well that grandma wants him to devise ways to progress — on and off the court.
“She encouraged him to push forward and stay focused never give up on his dreams,” Lennell said. “(She told him to) keep God first in everything that he does. Tylan has seen his grandmother fight many battles, which made him see that he has to fight as well. Even though his grandmother is gone, he is motived to continue to make her happy on and off the court.”
Every single day.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.