Our No. 6 moment in the #MGTop10 of 2013-14 belongs to the men's basketball team for making a difference in the life of a local young man fighting Cystic Fibrosis. The team collaborated with Team IMPACT to make an impact in the life of Roseville High School senior Khalil Dent when they signed him on as part of the squad near the end of the 2013-14 campaign. The signing took place inside the campus fitness center with Dent's family and newfound friends/teammates at his side. Shortly after the signing Jeremy Otto sat down with Dent to go over the momentous occasion for the new signee and his family.
As part of Marygrove's commitment to the NAIA's Champions of Character program, head coach Craig Covington called on senior forward Eric Fowlkes and freshman guards Kenneth Miller and Tyler Sykes to spearhead the signing as the group looked to welcome their latest prized recruit. Days later, Dent was announced as part of a ceremonial starting lineup.
Check back in this weekend as we reveal numbers five and four on our 2013-14 #MGTop10 countdown!
TOP 10 REWIND
6. Men's Basketball Makes An Impact
7. El-Zein's Heroics Caps Late Comeback
8. Volleyball Goes Undefeated in Florida to Win Volleyfest Championship
9. Women's Soccer Routs Grace Bible, 7-0
10. Baseball Arrives on Marygrove's Campus
DETROIT -- As the 2013-14 season draws to a close, Marygrove College men's basketball head coach, Craig Covington, along with a collection of compassionate student-athletes, paired up with Team IMPACT to sign Roseville High School's Khalil Dent Monday (Feb. 17) inside the College's fitness center. Dent was joined by a number of supporters for his ceremonious signing as he prepares to join the team this week to cheer them on for the stretch run of the season.
Dent, a 6-foot senior from Roseville, signed with Marygrove and was welcomed with open arms after an arduous journey attempting high school sports. Why so tough? Because Dent battles with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) on a daily basis – making physical activities such as high school and club sports difficult to navigate. The CF diagnosis was not enough to keep Coach Covington from reaching out to his latest prize recruit.
As head coach of a program in the ultra-competitive Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), Covington views Dent's addition as the unquestioned highlight of his first year manning the Mustang bench.
"I didn't think twice about it when we were contacted about the possibility of adding Khalil," remarked Covington in regards to welcoming Dent to his team. "You can look at it from one side and say we are doing something great by helping a young man be a part of a team environment. However, this is simply a Marygrove thing to do with competence, compassion, and commitment embedded in our mission. In the end, I look at it as a way for myself, and our team, to grow by adding a young man as impactful and strong as Khalil."
Since his diagnosis with CF, Dent's life has been dominated by treatments. He wakes up at 5:30 a.m. before school to take medications, complete his chest physical therapy and inhaler treatments, and check his blood sugar all before breakfast – and that is just one of three treatment regimens Dent completes every day. He has been hospitalized three times for lung issues, the most recent of which was in August 2013. While there are struggles physically to keep up, Dent makes the most of his high school life and looks forward to being a part of the team.
"Words can't describe how happy I am," said Dent while donning Marygrove's No. 34 jersey for the first time. "It feels amazing to be a part of the team and be able to be a Marygrove Mustang."
While his life has been an inspirational journey- to-date, the 17-year old's next walk is just beginning with his new team. At Marygrove, Dent already fits in well with his Green & Gold teammates.
Dent, like his new teammates, enjoys many of the things senior Eric Fowlkes or freshmen Kenneth Miller and Tyler Sykes find entertaining. The three Mustangs, chosen as mentors for Dent as he joins the team, all share a common bond with the soon-to-be 2014 high school graduate. Fowlkes enjoys graphic design; Dent wants to pursue a future in video editing and producing sound effects for movies. Miller likes action movies; Dent is a huge fan of Marvel movies and the Transformers move series. Sykes loves a good video game; Dent is an avid video game player. The aforementioned likenesses, and their shared love for the sport played on the hardwood, are just a few of the lifelong bonds to be formed between Dent and the Mustang men's basketball team throughout this journey.
Dent is slated to make his first appearance at a Marygrove men's basketball game either Wednesday (Feb. 19) or Saturday (Feb. 22). From there, Covington has extended the offer for Dent to attend endless team functions.
The high school senior is a mainstay on the Roseville Panther Marching Band's drum line where he plays the symbols. He also participates on the jazz and varsity bands playing the baritone saxophone and valve trombone.
Based in Quincy, Mass., Team IMPACT is an organization that enhances the lives of children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by matching them with college athletic teams. The Massachusetts-based organization establishes, cultivates and maintains relationships with college athletic teams through a large network of athletic and on-campus ambassadors at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest.
To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis, please visit the foundation's website: http://www.cff.org/aboutcf/
Note: Marygrove Athletics extends a special thanks to senior leader Eric Fowlkes and the fellow student ambassadors for helping make the signing possible. Welcome to the Mustang Family, Khalil!