Brave Williams from New York is just 17 but is already 7ft 1 and growing
Towering over his teammates at 7ft 1in tall, 17-year-old Brave Williams is hoping his height can help propel him to sporting stardom.
The 400lb senior at Lake Shore High School in Angola, New York, is already a highly-regarded member of his high school basketball and American football teams.
And the youngster is now setting his sights on winning a much-coveted college athletic scholarship.
‘When I was five years old, I was like 5ft 3in.’
'The teachers thought I was actually a second grader, so they put me in the wrong class for about an hour before they realised their mistake.’
'I had to tell them that I was just starting school.’
However, Brave very nearly didn’t make it to even his first birthday - he had to be delivered via caesarian because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.
'The doctors tried to pull me out three times before they were going to take more drastic measures. But as soon as my dad touched my mom’s forehead, I let go, and the doctors got me out,’ Brave told high school sports site MaxPreps.
'My dad instantly named me Brave because I needed a strong name.’
Specialists were concerned that he might be suffering from a form of gigantism known as Sotos syndrome, but tests done at three months and again at three years came back clear - much to the relief of his mother Angela.
She said: 'Every day he grew more and more, so that was when I got worried.
'To finally get the word that you have just got a tall kid was really relieving to say the least.’
Brave is now 7ft 1in tall - the same as Basketball Hall of Fame legend Shaquille O'Neal - but experts predict will be 7ft 5in by the time he stops growing, the same size as his great-great uncle.
Brave said: 'He made a pine tree look like a sapling. So, I think that’s where I got most of my height from.’
Born of African-American and Native American heritage, Brave lives on the Cattaraugus Reservation in the Seneca Nation of Indians.
The tall teen sleeps in a custom-made bed, although his feet still dangle off the end, and wears size 21 shoes.
While Brave’s size makes him killer on the court, it does also attract unwelcome attention in the form of stares and comments.
Mom Angela said: 'It was tough for me when my son turned five because then he had to go to school and I had to share him with the world.
'It was hard because he is sensitive and people stare, they look, they point.
'Now he’ll take the time to talk to everybody, people ask him the same questions over and over again - “How tall are you? Are you a wrestler? Are you this? Are you that?” And he just takes the time to respond, that’s his special gift.’
Brave is now determined to go on and become a pro athlete, but says he wants to go to college and complete his studies first - and would like to major in engineering.
And for 5ft 9in Angela, Brave’s stature is more than just an accident of genetics.
'I thought about my son being tall for a long time, and I think there is a reason why he’s so tall - because it gets him noticed and makes people listen to him,’ she added.
'But the rest is what matters, what really makes him special. I know he’s going to do big things.’
My whole dash is Sana crying and my heart breaks every time. She needs some holy trinity time.
Right? I suggested earlier that this could be the perfect time for…okay you ready?
So after Sara and Sana talk, Sara messages Isak and apologises for believing it was him when it wasn’t and then Isak just like drops his phone turns to Even and is like
“I gots to go”
and Even looks up from the bed where they were watching a movie and is all “what babe?”
so Isak sighs and flops down on the bed while pulling his shoes on and lets Even rub warm soothing circles on his back as he does. Isak looks up at him and says “Sara knows Sana was the one to leak her chats” and watches as Even raises his eyebrows and nods “oh”
“yeah” Isak replies getting up
Even thinks for a moment “would the girls?…”
Isak shakes his head “nei, after the fucked up shit Sara pulled on Vilde? I wouldn’t be surprised if Sana is alone right now.”
Even frowns “poor Sana”
Isak nods and grabs his books “yeah which is why i’m going over there and making her help me study”
Even laughs and jumps up to grab his jacket “your sweet baby, but if you think you’re gonna comfort her with science you are gonna need some help.”
Isak looks back in surprise “you sure? what if…you know the boys are-”
Even brushes him off “it doesn’t matter. lets go help our science buddy and friend”
“um MY science buddy and friend thank you very much in fact did i tell you we are best buds?”
“only a million times baby”
When Sana opens the door to see Isak and Even holding a pizza she doesn’t know what the hell to do. Usually her instinct would be to tell them to go away but she is too taken aback to register before Isak is smiling, calling her his best buddy and inviting himself in. Even pulls Sana in a tight hug and shows her the movies he brought over to cheer her up.
both stories of basketball legends Sana doesn’t exactly hate…..
“So our television is broken so we were wondering if we could hang here?” Isak asks making himself comfortable on her couch.
Sana narrows her eyes “sure..” she does not buy it she knows exactly what they are doing, but as Even pops the movie in and Isak waves a slice of vegetarian pizza in front of her face… she can’t say no to it.
She lets herself be sandwiched between the two boys as they watch the movie and bicker over it.
Isak doesn’t understand a second of the basketball scenes and Even and Sana roast him for it. everything is fine for a while. Sana forgets it all but eventually it begins to come back and that’s when it happens.
Sana’s body begins to shake silently as the tears roll down her face, she feels herself falling back into the empty feeling of loss and misery and she doesn’t know how to get out.
but then she feels arms around her… from both sides.
Isak is rubbing circles on her back and Even wipes away her tears with a tissue while telling her everything is going to be okay. They are here, she is not alone
everything is going to be okay
and as she lets her friends tell her this and listen to her cry
Chad’s basketball has its own consciousness and Chad is simply a vessel for its will. Chad doesn’t go ANYWHERE without his ball; rather, the ball doesn’t go anywhere without its Chad. Whoever lays hands on the basketball forges a bond with the entity and grows progressively more in tune with the basketball’s goals. This begs the question: what is the basketball’s agenda?
to answer this, let’s look at some of Chad’s traits. Extremely loyal to his friends and team, sometimes to a fault (placing the team above his best friend in the first half of HSM 1). He is often forthwith and direct, openly addressing his concerns or beliefs about certain people or events. Sometimes the aforementioned traits waver between movies, and these aren’t exactly unusual for high school students, but there’s something we’ve all gotten to know and love about Chad Danforth: his Wildcat spirit.
Chad is arguably, out of any other student at East High, the most devoted to the Wildcats. He is almost always (save for that one time in HSM 2) the one to start the “WHAT TEAM” chant among his peers. Even when separated from the ball for days or even weeks at a time during the events of HSM 2, he still retains this high spirit. I argue that the ball is the incarnation of the Wildcat spirit, passed on from basketball player to basketball player in a legacy stretching back to East High’s first class. This may explain why Chad places an emphasis on making Troy into the next Wildcat legend in HSM 1, citing previous Wildcat basketball legends as inspiration. I may also argue that Chad may have thought himself as the next incarnation of the Wildcat Champion, but upon knowing Troy’s aptitude for basketball he may pressure Troy to take the mantle instead. But why would the basketball spirit forge such a strong bond with Chad, even though Troy seems to be the next Wildcat champion? The answer: Troy is not 100% committed to the Wildcats. Troy is conflicted, his dedication split between basketball and theater. He can’t even decide when going to college, deciding to leave Albuquerque and study in California so he can pursue both basketball and musicals. Troy’s own future, both with Gabriella and with his interests, play a larger part in his life than his team and the Wildcats of East High. Therefore, I argue that the basketball only forms bonds with those that are loyal to the Wildcats and to East High.
So who else has the basketball forged a bond with besides Chad in the series? Well, although Chad is clearly the most connected to the Wildcat Spirit, I believe that the events of HSM2 concerning Ryan’s relationship with his peers are a result of his contact with the Wildcat basketball. If you watch HSM2, in the opening song “Summertime”, you will notice that Chad throws the basketball back, his excitement for summer momentarily overpowering his attachment to the ball, thus rendering it free to bond to whoever next contacts it. And who is that?
Although his contact with the ball only lasts for a second or two, the bond has already been set in place. In the first HSM film, Ryan was completely dedicated to his sister and to his art, feeling vengeful and betrayed when Troy and Gabriella dared to infringe upon his territory. Of course, he was never quite as hell-bent as Sharpay, but nonetheless Ryan was dedicated to his art. This changed, however, during HSM2.
Throughout the film, Ryan and his sister become more and more distant as Sharpay wishes to perform with Troy rather than her brother. This is, of course, not due to the influence of the ball, but rather a natural human reaction to being scorned by your own family. What is unusual, however, is how he is so quick to reconcile his differences with the other Wildcats and, despite his status as a member of the country club rather than an employee, become a part of their squad (that’s what kids use nowadays to describe their friend group, yeah?). In the baseball game in HSM2, meant only for employees to play, Ryan nevertheless is permitted to join in and become part of the Wildcat crew. This is also where Chad and Ryan have the most direct contact, to the point where I would argue that Chad realizes that Ryan has been influenced by the ball. It is where Chad claims that he doesn’t dance (he does not pursue his own interests over his loyalty to the Wildcats) whereas Ryan argues that both dance and sport are valid activities. And you know what?
Ryan’s dedication to theatre is not out of self-righteous glory (Sharpay) or a desire to fulfill his own fleeting interests (Troy), but rather to uphold a legacy. Ryan’s argument for why he and Sharpay deserve to be the leads in HSM1 and for them to perform together in HSM2 is because it’s what they’ve done for years and years. It’s upholding a tradition. In Ryan’s own way, he is serving the Wildcats not through upholding a sporting spirit, but through preserving the greatness and glory of the East High theater department. Why else would he be so passionate about keeping the most talented theater actors in the lead roles (whom he believes are himself and his sister), and yet so easily supportive of overthrowing his sister once he forges a bond with the other Wildcats in HSM2? It is because Ryan realizes that Sharpay is not serving the Wildcat legacy, only her own. It is for this reason that Ryan is considered a valid vessel for the ball, and possibly why he and Chad have so much chemistry.
tl;dr Chad’s basketball is a sentient incarnation of the Wildcat spirit that is using him as a vessel and is able to have an influence on true Wildcats through physical contact.