Character like Collier: Sideline prayer shot shared across social media

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Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:43 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Shelby Valley High School took home a 64-53 win over Johnson Central during Saturday’s Mountain Classic. But, it was not the shots form the paint that have people talking. It was a shot taken when the clock was stopped that is being shared by many on social media.

When a Johnson Central player was injured during the game, Collier Fuller, a sophomore at Shelby Valley, wanted to step up to comfort his opponent.

”I was just sitting on the baseline, just debating with myself. ‘Cause I kind of felt like a calling to go over there and pray with him,” said Collier.

In that moment, on bended knee, Collier said it was no longer time to play, but time to pray.

“I felt like, if I was in the same situation, I would want somebody to come over there and pray with me,” he said.

Collier’s mother, Megan Fuller, noticed the moment, sharing a photo on social media, saying, “He didn’t care who saw, who laughed, or oooed or awwed, He did this because it’s who he is. This is one of the greatest moments I’ve ever been a part of.”

That post, since shared hundreds of times, led to many conversations about the character it takes to pause your own celebrations to try to comfort someone in need. The kind of character those who know Collier are proud to say he displays at all times.

“You don’t see that a whole lot. But it’s really nice, as a coach, when you’ve got freshmen or sophomores that are stepping up and being that kid of leader in front of your whole team,” said Vice Principal Derwood Ratliff.

According to Collier, it was never about recognition. He just wanted to follow the playbook of the one who coaches him on and off the court.

”I really don’t want the attention to come to me. First of all, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ needs to get all the attention and praise,” he said.

Administrators say Collier is the kind of student, athlete, and human being of which the world could use more.

“Anybody that saw that picture had to be touched by his conviction in his religious beliefs and in caring for another teammate, even though he’s not on the same team. It was just remarkable,” said Ratliff. “I mean, imagine if you had 100 like him, what kind of things you could get done in your community, in your school.”

Collier said it comes down to more than one single moment caught on camera. It is about who you are when no one is watching.

“It shows more about your character,” he said. “Sportsmanship should always be your number one priority.”

The injured athlete is now home, according to sources, with a concussion from the event. Collier said he hopes to see the the Johnson Central student on the mend and back in the game soon.

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