January 28, 2013

Tragedy Hits Sammy Mojica

Tragedy can be an overused word, especially in the life of a teenager.

It can be sometimes equated to acne, girls and homework.

For basketball prospect Sammy Mojica, it might have been a bad shooting day or a loss for his Brimmer & May (Mass.) squad.

Last week, the class of 2014 6-foot-3 guard dealt with his biggest loss to date.

With the new year came the news of his mother, Awilda Morales, being laid off from work.

Then last week, the family's home in Massachusetts burned down. He, his mom and 12-year-old sister lost everything in the fire.

"I was shocked and destroyed because my mother called me crying to tell me everything was gone," he told Rivals.com. "The house apartment burned down and I lost all my things. When I hear her cry, I always get emotional. I ran to my favorite teacher, Mrs. Luliano, and asked her to take me home."

Mojica showed courage by merely playing in his game this past Friday, two days after receiving the tragic news.

He built on that by leading his Brimmer & May team to a win with 17 points.

But that did not erase the pain.

"The past few days haven't been easy," Mojica said, who is being recruited by Northeastern, Towson, Vermont and others. "I try to stay away from my mother because it hurts me to much to see her in the position she is in. I drive down to Chelsea every now and then to stop by and see her and my sister, and then I just head back to my dad's house. A lot of my rough times are waking up in the morning."

Mojica's mornings now consist of waking up and realizing that he doesn't have a home anymore. He is using basketball as a coping mechanism and the win on Friday helped raise his spirits.

As schools, players and coaches around the New England area are raising money to support Mojica and his family, he realizes that this will be the toughest process of his life. As he is being tested, there is one person that he is looking to for faith.

"My mom has always been an inspiration to me," Mojica said. "Being a single parent, raising three kids. I know I get my emotional toughness from her. She's a strong woman, who has been through a lot."

Mojica's mother has been forced in the past to stop paying some bills in order to pay for her son's basketball equipment and trips.

Now the family must restructure its way of life, and Mojica must step up to face his biggest challenge.


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