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It was noon on a beautiful saturday evening. Daquan and his friend Mike were outside playing basketball like they do every saturday. Daquan lived on the west side of the town of Marsville. Mike was a little different, he lived on the opposite side of town in the wealthier neighborhoods. Mike and Daquan had been bestfriends since they were born. They were eighth graders this year and getting ready for high school. Mike didn’t really fit in with Quan’s friends and Quan didn’t really fit in with Mike’s friends so when they hung out it was usually just them two. Quan is what everybody called Daquan, his mom gave him that little nickname when he was younger. Quan grew up with just his mom, Nia, his dad left when Quan was just two. Mike and Quan played basketball together and Quan was also a star football player while Mike was a tremendous baseball player. Quan has always dreamed of going to college and getting an education and one day giving money back to his mom and starting a family after he turns pro. Mike had it easier then Quan because Mike had the money to go to college even if he didn’t get a sports scholarship. Mike and Quan were excited today as it was the last day of school before summer and then next year they would be in highschool but little do they know how much would change for them.

Mike went to a summer camp all summer while Quan was here at home hanging around his other friends who aren’t the best influence. Quan was upset that Mike hadn’t spent any of the summer with him so therefore has been ignoring him ever since. They grew further and further apart from each other and were starting to lose there friendship. Mike knew that some of Quan’s friends were in a gang and could pressure Quan into joining now that he had lots of time since he wasn’t spending it with Mike so Mike decided to go talk to Quan one day and try to revive their friendship. Mike went everywhere looking for Quan and even went and talked to Nia in search of him but she said he went out with some friends earlier and hasn’t come back. After hours of searching Mike had found something out back behind a grocery store, it looked like somebody but Mike couldn’t quite put a finger on who it was. He got closer and closer and realized it was Quan laying on the ground blood dripping from his face, bruises all over. Mike’s mind starts to spin and panic. He pulls out his phone and dials 911 to come get Quan. The ambulance arrives and they load Quan up onto the stretcher and take off to the hospital. Mike doesn’t have his license yet so he picks up his bike and follows after the ambulance. Mike arrives at the hospital and walks into the news that Quan has woken up and he will be okay.

Mike walks into the room and sees that smile on Quan’s face that he has been seeing forever. Quan then tells Mike the truth about what happened. Quan had been jumped by another gang that one of Quan's friend had shot a member of. Quan was with them when it happened so therefore they came after Quan when he was isolated and beat him up very bad, almost ended his life. Mike saved Quan’s life and at this moment they realized that they needed each other and they needed to have each other’s back. From this point on, everything was different they were there for each other whenever one was in a tough spot. Mike got in trouble at school, Quan would take the blame for it. Quan has a rough time at home, Mike would let him stay with him. They both were just ready to play sports as they knew this was the time that colleges start to watch in high school. Football season came first and Quan had an insane year setting freshman single season records and even being recognized as one of the conference’s best players. Then Mike and Quan’s favorite sport came, the one they’ve been waiting for, basketball. The season started out good as the team started off with three straight wins. Mike was averaging 18 ppg along with Quan’s 10 points and 8 rebounds per game. People started noticing and colleges started to come and watch there games. Mike quit baseball and began to just start focusing on basketball. Before they knew it freshman year was over and Mike and Quan just kept becoming closer and closer.

Sophomore year started and everything was going great, Quan’s grades started to rise and he even met a girl. The girls name was Elizabeth and Quan was nervous but Mike influenced him to ask her on a date which went really well. Mike was doing great as well, he has been having an unreal basketball season and has earned a couple college scholarships for basketball. Sadly, the team ended up losing in the semifinals of state playoffs on a buzzer beater to win the game. They were heartbroken but Mike and Quan knew they still had 2 more years to get a shot at winning the title, an achievement many people do not reach. With the increase in Quan’s grades he also received some offers in both football and basketball. Mike was so proud of Quan and he made sure Quan knew that. Quan wasn’t involved in any type of gang violence. Unfortunately one evening Quan woke up to the phone call from the police, Nia his mother was unconscious from a car accident that happened last night. Quan went to the hospital as fast as he could but he was too late there she was laying there so pale and beaten up. Nia was dead and Quan couldn’t handle it. This was all Quan had in his life besides sports and Mike. Mike was heartbroken by the passing but he knew he had to do something before Quan turned to violence and lost everything else he had because Mike knew Nia would’ve wanted Quan to go to college. Mike and his family make the decision to take Quan in with them and be his foster parents. It was never going to be the same for Quan but this was definitely the closest it could be and Quan felt comfortable here more than any other place he would’ve ended up at.

So sophomore year was heartbreaking, but Quan was adapting and made it his destination that he needed to go to college for himself and for his mom because he knew that is what she wanted. Quan and Mike had decided they would both attend Wake Forest and play basketball together there so they had achieved their goal of getting accepted to play basketball at a Division I college but there was another goal they hadn’t achieved and that was a state championship.  3 seconds left on the clock, The Hills which is Mike and Quan’s school was down two. Quan inbounded the ball to Mike and Mike threw up a heave from halfcourt…..It’s good! He made it. The Hills are going to the state championship for the first time ever. Mike couldn’t believe it. They had done it, one more game and they were champs. The final game came and The Hills were up two and then Quan got hurt and had to come out the game. The Young County team came down and hit a three. The Hills had one last chance to score, Mike put up the shot...In and out, they had lost the game.Mike blamed it all on himself but Quan was there for him and to keep his head up. They still had their final year before they headed to college together.

Here it was, senior year had started but something was different. Mike hadn’t been himself lately and Quan knew something was off. Mike had been hiding something from Quan but he couldn’t figure out what. One day, Quan heard Mike and his family discussing something downstairs and decided to go as close as he can without being seen and listen in on it. They were discussing whether or not they should do the last final treatment for his cancer or to send him to a better place. Mike had been diagnosed with stage 4 Leukemia. Quan couldn’t believe it he didn’t know what to do he was at a loss of words and just started to cry. Quan’s best friend since day one was going to be gone and that's all he had left in his life. Quan had lost his mom and might even lose his bestfriend. Quan asked Mike about it and why he didn’t tell him sooner. Mike replied saying because he didn’t want Quan to lose his composure and lose sight of the big picture. He told Quan that no matter what happens to him that he wants him to stay focused and go to college and that he will be cheering him on from heaven. Quan and Mike had made it to the state championship but Mike’s cancer had gotten so bad that if he played he might not be able to hold up very well. Mike didn’t care this was his last wish this is all he wanted. Mike played the best he has ever played and they had done it. They won the championship and Mike was in tears of joy. Quan realized this would be the last basketball game they would play together and talked to Mike about all the great memories they had. Mike died later that evening. Quan remembered the words Mike told him and tried his best to stay focused on going to Wake Forest because that is what Mike wanted Quan to do. Quan still wanted to live with Mike’s parents so that is what he did. He went on to play at Wake Forest wearing number 3 which was Mike’s number. He then later on made it to the NBA and met a woman whom he now calls his wife. Quan thinks about Mike all the time and talks to him before every game in his prayers. To Quan, Mike is still there and always will be there with him forever. Quan and Mike, so different from each other but made such a huge impact on each other. Quan and Mike had one of the best journeys and it won’t ever end.

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