Scholar Athlete of the Week: Fletcher dedicates season to brother

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2011

FERRIDAY — In the days immediately following the loss of her brother, Ferriday High School shooting guard T’Keyah Fletcher just wanted to drop everything.

But she said she knew that’s not what Kazarious Fletcher would have wanted.

“I decided to keep pushing,” said Fletcher.

Email newsletter signup

“Now, when I look into the crowd, sometimes I think I see him. I don’t know if it’s an illusion. Every time I have the ball, I think of him getting krunk for me in the bleachers. I just play for him.”

Kazarious Fletcher died New Year’s Eve from injuries sustained in the early morning hours of a Christmas Eve wreck. Fletcher said she and her brother got into a fight Dec. 23 when she returned his car with a flat tire.

The accident that killed Kazarious never should have occured, she said. Her brother was riding with a friend who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“They were driving on the levee in Vidalia, and the driver never took his foot off the gas. They missed one tree and hit the next two trees, and my brother was thrown out of the window.”

Kazarious spent his final week in the hospital with a ventilator in his throat, Fletcher said. He could not communicate verbally, but could nod yes and no.

“I think God was preparing him to get right and go to heaven,” Fletcher said. “I also think he was preparing our family for losing him.

“He didn’t remember some things, but he remembered me, his little sister, because we were always together.”

Ferriday head coach Lisa Abron said Fletcher has been a valuable commodity for the Lady Trojans since she started playing, and that she was amazed at how Fletcher had overcome such a trying circumstance.

“He was always at every game, and supported her a lot,” Abron said. “I thought she wouldn’t finish the year, but she decided to dedicate the season to him.”

Abron also said Fletcher often doesn’t get the respect she deserves from other teams.

“She’s started every year from the 10th grade on,” Abron said. “She gets overlooked a lot since she’s in the shadows of (point guard) Chanta Poole, but she steps up for us defensively when we need someone to guard the other team’s star player.”

Fletcher is also a standout student, as evidenced by her 3.9 GPA at Ferriday High School. Fletcher scored an 18 on the ACT and wants to major in child psychology when she goes to college.

“Ever since I was young, I was just smart,” Fletcher said. “I don’t really try to be smart, I just do my work, and I always try to come out on top. I also love awards, so I try my best to get awards (for good grades).”

Abron said Fletcher is a very good student, and has been a pleasure to coach.

“I’ve never had any problems with her, academically or with her attitude,” Abron said. “I hate to see her go, but I’m happy for her and wish her the best.”

Fletcher returned those feelings to her coach.

“I’m thankful that she stayed on my butt when I first started playing and saw the potential in me,” Fletcher said.

“I also love playing with my teammates. I’ve come to realize there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’ — we’re a group. I consider my coach my Mommy and my teammates sisters.”