“The one thing I ask and I beg of you guys is after today please make this story about Mylan. Pick him up, his family. Don’t make it about us, how we deal with it, and the rest of the season.”
That was Bo Levi Mitchell’s message as the team reacted to the tragic and senseless death of a young man few outside the Stampeder locker room got to know. Guilty. With so much going on in a season, there’s not enough time to tell the stories of the players on the field week in and week out, meaning there’s no time to get to know some of the guys just trying to make a name for themselves.
Then time runs out.
So, too late, here’s a little bit about a young man who’s full potential will never be realized, but who made life a little bit better for this around him, by all accounts. Darien Harris was a teammate at Michigan State University:
“Extremely joyful, extremely happy to be alive, extremely smart,” recalls Harris. “Kind of lit up the room with his presence, a guy you wanted to be around, he’s a guy that made everyday fun, he made practice fun….it was a pleasure to know him.”
Hicks’ teammates voted him the team’s most inspirational player in his final year as a Spartan. “That’s an award you can’t quantify with numbers,” says Harris You quantify that with his he impacts us each and every day. He was so passionate and so emotional, and he really wore his heart on his sleeve, and that’s kinda how he lived out. Life, day in and day out.”
The 23 year old Detroit native had his eye on a career in pro football, but he also earned his degree in psychology, and Harris is convinced his friend could have realized any dream he had. “He was ready to have a long successful career before diving into something else, which he would have been successful in as well. Anything he could put his mind to, he could do. I know it was really important to him to get that degree.”
Charges have been laid. Maybe someday justice is served, maybe not. We’ll never know what Mylan Hicks could have become. But maybe now, you know a little more about how he got where he did.