A LETTER FROM MOM
Deshawn Patrick Jagwan…a young man whose eighteen years among us established a legacy to be honored and modeled after. In today’s divisive times, where hate and fear drive people apart from one another, we need more young men like Deshawn Jagwan. He has left us due to a fatal car accident at an age much too young, but his legacy and spirit will remain with us in perpetuity. And that is a beautiful thing, because Deshawn made our world a better place.
As early as the age of five, Deshawn insisted that his parents demonstrate their generosity by helping the less fortunate on the streets of Dallas. He constantly pressed Mom and Dad to give a few dollars here and five dollars there to those in need. Even though at times Deshawn’s insistence reached levels of annoyance, he knew he was doing the right thing so he persisted.
Deshawn was a young man full of passion for life, but developed a special passion for the game of basketball even before his desire to help those less fortunate on the streets. There was something about this team sport that captured Deshawn’s attention. Was it the inherent beauty of the game or the brotherhood developed among teammates? Probably both, along with Deshawn’s natural talent for the game and skills he developed over years of hard work and dedication to excellence. Deshawn started his basketball journey at the youth level, playing scholastically and with AAU teams traveling with his parents on the weekends to endless tournaments. He continued his journey in high school, playing at an elite level throughout his four year career. His efforts were well rewarded, receiving full ride scholarship offers from Arizona and Duquesne University. Deshawn’s Family accepted these fine scholarship offers posthumously on his behalf and in his honor.
Deshawn was a trailblazer who pursued his own path. Even though he was a proud sibling who looked up to the academic and athletic achievements of his Sister who is a successful scientist and his Brother Brandon who was drafted by and plays for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Deshawn was focused on his own path. It’s fair to say that most younger brothers who watched their older sibling play on full ride football scholarships at UCLA and SMU, would focus their efforts on the same sport. But not Deshawn as he knew his future was in basketball, the sport he loved. And Deshawn was more than an athlete, he was a student-athlete. He knew that academics were paramount and an important key to a successful future. In addition to his pursuit of collegiate basketball, Deshawn was planning on pursuing a degree in sports medicine, consistent with his desire to help others in his sport.
Deshawn was a selfless young man. Some younger brothers may have found themselves jealous of their older Brother’s accomplishments. But not Deshawn as he took great pride in watching Brandon achieve great heights during the 2021 NFL Draft. Deshawn supported his Brother while at the same time focusing on his own accomplishments in his sport of passion, basketball.
As the community mourned the much too early loss of this fine young man, Deshawn’s unique and special spirit shined through. As preparations for Deshawn’s services were being organized, Deshawn’s Mother received phone calls from surrounding school districts. It became apparent in a very short period of time that Deshawn’s personality and love had touched so many hearts and minds, that only a large venue could allow the masses to show their appreciation.
Deshawn’s Mom thought for sure a facility holding a few hundred people would suffice. But reality set in, and only a church venue holding 1,700 would work. Eventually about 1,500 people attended Deshawn’s service. To make the service even more amazing, it was attended by more ethnicities and races than one could keep track of. This was a true testament to how Deshawn viewed and treated his fellow human beings. He didn’t judge by race, color, ethnicity nor religious beliefs. He judged all by the content of their character. Deshawn lifted everyone around him because he expected the best of them and wished them all the best in life.
Deshawn was a product of a beautiful Family. He was surrounded by Parents and Siblings who loved and supported him. His “Village” was top tier, and it was truly reflected in the spirit and personality he became. And because of this, Deshawn’s legacy and spirit remain with us all in perpetuity. And it is only appropriate that the Deshawn Jagwan Athletic Foundation has resulted. And this Foundation will honor not just athletes, but Student-Athletes by assisting their future endeavors. And this is a beautiful and blessed thing. May Deshawn Rest in Peace, and may his legacy and spirit live on and benefit others, the way we know he would want it to be.