An Arkansas teen with autism who was once told he would never walk or talk has defied the odds — and is now joining Kent State University's basketball team.The 6'10, 300-pound phenom, who didn't walk until he was 4 years old and didn't talk until he was 7, told Cleveland.com:
Kalin Bennett, 18, of Little Rock, was recruited by the Ohio school earlier this month, and accepted Kent State's offer to play starting next season. It was a history-making move: According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Bennett may be the first student-athlete with autism to sign a national letter of intent to play a team sport at the Division I level.
I want to make an impact not just on the court, but with kids that are struggling with the same things I am. I want to use this platform to inspire other kids with autism and non-autism. I want to let them know, hey, if I can do this, you can do it, too. A lot of times they feel alone and by themselves, and I felt that same way growing up.Bennett said that he was recruited by several schools, and chose Kent State in part because of its autism support programs. A graduate of Little Rock Christian last May, Bennet plays basketball this year for Link Year Prep, in Branson, Mo., a Christian "gap year" program that includes college prep and basketball training.