Paye’s story even more inspiring than it seems


Bishop Hendricken high school retired Kwity Paye’s No. 1 on Monday afternoon in front of a packed house on campus.

As you can imagine, it was pretty emotional from start to finish. Kwity was joined by his family, which set the stage for what my biggest take away was from the event.

As expected, the staff, administration, and Paye himself focused on delivering an inspirational and motivational message to the kids, especially the student athletes that not only got to watch the ceremony, but were able to engage in a Q&A with him following the unveiling of his retired jersey.

Kwity’s statement and message was terrific as he stressed the importance of structure and hard work when trying to accomplish your dreams. Back to family, though.

Kwity and his family were refugees that arrived in Rhode Island in poverty. His mother worked multiple jobs throughout his entire childhood to make ends meet, and he promised her from the time he was in high school that he would reach the NFL and make sure she never had to work again. He made good on that promise, and then some.

Although hard work and discipline are pillars of sustained success, especially for young student-athletes coming up, family is as well. Or at least the ones that are making it happen behind the scenes, whether they are your family or not.

Maybe it was because I was raised by a single mother, but his story about his family is what resonated with me, and I truly hope that the kids in attendance took a second to think about their family leadership and the ones that support them on and off the field every day.

It all starts from a young age. Between paying for registrations, equipment, driving you to practice and to games multiple times a week, sometimes in early mornings and other times late at night. The sacrifices that a family makes are immense and remain a challenge up until they play in college, assuming they reach that level. Sports bring families together, it is a price absolutely worth paying, but either way, it is a price to pay.

If you are a young student-athlete, let this be a reminder of how important those around you are in helping you achieve your goals. Don’t take it for granted, because one day you’ll look back on it and realize how important they really were from start to finish. Your family is your biggest fan group and far too often we forget to appreciate that.

The other parts of his message were important as well. Structure and consistency. He made mention of the fact that today’s generation has grown to be less committed to putting in the hard work necessary to improve. I agree with that sentiment, but the beauty of that is, if you are one of the unusual talents that are willing to outwork everyone else in the room, you will rise fast. Talent can only take you so far and those who are live purely on talent usually don’t get to where they want to be ultimately.

On the surface, Paye’s story seems a bit cliché. A kid from humble beginnings, working hard, doing things the right way, and reaching the NFL. However, when you truly hear the message behind it all, absorb it, and reflect on it, it is hard not to be genuinely inspired by the end of it. His story has more depth and heart than the typical rags to riches one that we are fed in sports on a daily basis.

It was a tremendous event, one of the cooler ones that I have covered in recent years. Congrats Kwity.

We had another busy week of championships in Rhode Island and in our coverage area, the biggest story of the past week was Cranston East softball winning the Division III championship.

Two years ago, the Bolts were winless, last year they won seven games and made the playoffs, this year they’re undefeated champions. The Bolts truly went untested from start to finish.

Sure, they did move down a division last year, but to go winless to a perfect season in just two years is remarkable. This team was dominant, flat out.

We saw last year that the team had some athleticism and could hit the ball. It felt like they were one big piece away from being a true contender. They got that piece this year with the introduction of freshman pitcher Isabella Sousa.

Sousa was electric this spring, perhaps the best freshman softball player in the state. She was the division’s best pitcher, and although there were bigger bats in the lineup, hers came through when they needed it the most. Her grand slam in the championship game was the dagger, that sealed it.

It will be interesting to see where this team goes from here. Most of the same squad will be back next year, so should they stay in DIII, another perfect season is very much on the table. Sousa will only get better, which is impressive to think about, and do-it-all standout Nevaeh Fatorma will be back, among others.

We could be seeing the beginning of a special run here. It was unbelievable to see this program take such a sharp turn into the right direction.

pitch, Paye, Hendricke


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