In April 2015, 6-year-old Ziggy Stovall-Reed was awarded the position of honorary member of the Rice University's football team. Ziggy was battling leukemia at the time but put on a brave face, as he showed up for his signing ceremony with his mom. And he gave a particularly stirring speech.
It's my favorite sport. I run and I throw the football. But I catch footballs every day. And I play with my mom.
The entire team was more than delighted to have their newest member and Rice head coach David Bailiff described Ziggy as a "playmaker."
Sadly, Ziggy’s days on the team have come to an end as the little boy eventually succumbed to cancer. His death occurred on June 1. An official statement on the Rice Owls website spoke highly of the little boy and his impact on the team.
His indomitable spirit and radiant smile were a constant source of inspiration for everyone associated with Rice Football, no matter if it was during his visits to practice or our visits to him during his treatments.
Ziggy’s signing with the Owls was part of the TEAM IMPACT project that found opportunities to share some love with children suffering terminal illnesses.
Fans of the Owls and Ziggy are sad at his passing but continue to pay tribute to the champ.
In his three years on the team, Ziggy was much loved and his determination despite his condition will forever be an inspiration.