Saturday, November 26, 2011
Austin Peay's John Fraley has rebounded thanks to adoption.
The 6-foot-9 senior center led the Governors in rebounding a year ago, averaging 7.4 boards per contest. He also averaged 9.6 points per game, shooting a team-leading 61 percent from the field. What the statistics won't tell you is that when he was 12 years old John didn't have basketball or a home.
Abandoned by his birth mother at 9, John was placed in foster care with Nashville-based AGAPE. It was during that time that John became friends with another boy in foster care named Quinton who introduced him to the game of basketball. AGAPE worked to find a family that would adopt both boys. Three years later, Doug and Michelle Fraley of Clarksville (former members at Madison Street Church of Christ) adopted John and Quinton at the ages of 12 and 13 respectively.
"After having our first child naturally, Doug and I began looking at adoption," said Michelle. "We took in two infant children before we adopted John and Quinton. We always felt called to look at those who were difficult to place." The Fraleys now have six children. Five of them are adopted. Four of them were adopted through AGAPE.
Doug and Michelle home schooled John from the 7th grade through the 11th grade. For two years he played on a traveling home school basketball team. The second year the team won the national home school tournament. For his senior year, Doug and Michelle decided to send John to Heritage Christian Academy in Hopkinsville, KY. As a senior he averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds a game on his way to becoming the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association (KCAA) Mr. Basketball award winner. He scored 42 points and grabbed 28 rebounds in the KCAA All-Star game.
John signed with Austin Peay in 2007. He is now a fifth-year senior. John suffered a concussion in Austin Peay's season opener at MTSU on Nov. 11 and has not been cleared to return to action.
Tonight marks the first Adoption Rally of the season at Lipscomb. For each remaining home game of the 2011-2012 season, Lipscomb will partner with a family that is in the process of adopting a child. In an effort to help these families defray some of the mounting costs associated with adoption, Lipscomb is giving all admission fees outside of season tickets and advance group sales to the adopting family. Tonight's Adoption Rally family is Buddy and Julie Harston. The Harstons are in the process of adopting 11-year-old Aphiwe from South Africa. Julie is actually in South Africa now and hopes to bring Aphiwe home before Christmas. Click here for the full story.
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