Clemson family lives out Tigers basketball dream
Daniel HS graduate makes memory on hometown team’s court
CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Andrew Latiff’s parents sat right behind the basket at Littlejohn Coliseum during the Tigers exhibition hosting Newberry College, and they got the show of a lifetime.
“It’s wonderful, we’re very excited for him. He’s living his dream,” Andrew’s mother, Catherine Latiff, said. “Oh look, he’s going in right now.”
Andrew’s parents watched their son play his first game as a Tiger in their hometown. They felt all the feelings that came with it.
“Pure joy and excitement and nervousness at the same time,” Andrew’s father, Todd Latiff, said. “This is absolutely incredible. This has been a dream of his. He came to all the Clemson games growing up.”
Then Todd started calling the play-by-play of his son’s first few possessions as a Tiger.
“Oh my gosh! That’s his first rebound ever. He’s primarily a 3-point shooter, and I promise you he’ll shoot. Oh! Dag gummit,” Todd said after Andrew missed his first 3-point attempt. “But that was incredible. That’s his favorite thing to do. This is just unbelievable for me. I’m literally sweating right now I’m so excited.”
After a few misses, the Latiff family got its moment.
“There it is, shoot it. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Woo! Way to go son! Yeah!” Todd said while giving his son a standing ovation after sinking his first 3-pointer at Clemson. “Oh my gosh, I think I’m going to have a stroke. Oh my gosh. I cannot believe it. That is incredible, what a dream come true. Gah-lee.”
As Todd sat down following his son’s first basket as a Tiger, he reflected on the journey to get here.
Andrew broke his femur right after high school and didn’t know if he’d ever play basketball again. Then, he became a walk-on player at the College of Charleston. Then, Andrew transferred back home and spent two seasons as the Clemson basketball team’s student manager. As a senior, he made the team and made his first Tigers basket just five miles from where he starred at Daniel High School.
“You made it, oh my gosh!” Todd said while wrapping up his son in a big bear hug after the game. “I’m so proud of you.”
After going to hundreds of Clemson games as a fan, Andrew shared a special moment with his grandparents and parents as a player.
“He fought through those injuries to the point where he could even compete,” Todd said while fighting back tears. “This is just the end of that journey. It’s very emotional for us because this was his dream, and he got to live it tonight, and so did we.”
Andrew’s also been giving back to his parents. His mother, Catherine, is a breast cancer survivor, so Andrew recently sold t-shirts to raise money for breast cancer awareness. He gave 100% of the proceeds, $600, to Oconee Memorial Hospital Foundation, which diagnosed his mother’s cancer. That’s one more thing for the Latiff family to cheer about.
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