Seniors at Lincoln High School received a tutorial Wednesday on how to buy graduation caps, gowns, rings – and earn an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship.
The Abes packed a lot in a grand celebration in their school auditorium, highlighted by national-letter-of-intent signing of standout forward Tre’Shaun Fletcher (formerly Tre’Shaun Lexing), who is headed off to Colorado on scholarship.
Fletcher became the first Lincoln player to sign with an NCAA Division I team since Justin Holt did with Oregon State in 2002 – and just the fourth Abes’ player in the past 35 years.
As he was introduced, and made his way to the stage for a few brief remarks, Fletcher got a few words into his prepared statement before the emotion of the achievement overwhelmed him.
He walked off the stage, and directly to his mother, Bobby, who gave her son a bear-hug – all to a rousing ovation.
Bobby then escorted him back to the stage where he finished his remarks.
“I’m getting ready to get down to Boulder (Colo.) … and do my thing,” he concluded.
Afterward, the soft-spoken teenager reflected on what was a trying half-hour in front of his peers.
“It was tough – with everything I had to overcome from my childhood,” said Fletcher, who grew up in Arkansas before moving to Tacoma. “I just felt good. I am excited. I am really happy.
“And I love my mom with all my heart.”
He also expanded on his decision to play for the Buffaloes.
“I knew that is where I wanted to go right away,” Fletcher said. “The players and the system they run, I fit in well with. It is everything I need. It is a good fit for me.”