NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) - A legally blind Northwestern State University student has been selected for a special award for his role in managing the Natchitoches school's men's basketball team for more than a decade.
Trey McCrory is one of 10 finalists for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous award.
Born legally blind, the team cited Trey's dedication to the team as just one of the many reasons they nominated him.
"We'll attribute some of our success to Trey because he's been an inspiration. Because every day he has hardships, but he doesn't complain about his hardships," coach Mike McConathy said.
Trey is the graduate manager for the team, and he's been part of the staff for 4 years.
He takes care of the team's travel, keeps track of equipment during games and works the clock during practice.
"During my first two years of college, I came to all the games. But it was a dream," Trey said. "I was like, 'Man it would be awesome to be able to work for the men's basketball program'."
Now he is in his last semester of graduate school at NSU.
"I don't even have to look at it now, I just push buttons and I know it's already done. Memorization, that's the key for me. Memorize stuff - I'm good."
Trey says it takes him a little longer than most people to do a task.
When his mother was 4 1/2 months pregnant with him, her appendix ruptured. Doctors didn't think he would survive through birth.
"I can see about 5 feet. But since the past couple of years, my vision's got progressively worse because I've got glaucoma in both eyes."
He uses a monocular to see the games and at farther distances.
"There are some days that it's tough because the emotional battles you have with not being able to do things everybody else can do. But at the end of the day, my faith drives me to do everything I can and fight as hard as I can."
It's his persistence that team members say motivates them.
"He inspires me to do more and go beyond," said Devonte Hall, his roommate and the point guard for the basketball team.
Trey says his dream is to work at a Division I program.
"I had somebody tell me once, 'It would be funny to see a blind guy on ESPN as a coach.' And I told him, 'Well, you'll see me in 10 years on ESPN, I'll prove you wrong'."
This year's winner of the Most Courageous award will be recognized during a ceremony at the NCAA Final Four in Phoenix.