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Photo by Richard Byers
Michael Lemon
North Carolina State
Nominated by Tom O'Brien

Michael Lemon is a fifth year senior who transferred to NC State from the University of Georgia by way of the Georgia Military Academy. He has fought through unimaginable personal tragedy to become a productive student and athlete at North Carolina State University.

In February of 2004 he and his younger brother, Marquez, were following a group of friends to a bowling alley. Lemon, then 16, lost sight of their friends’ car after it went over a hill and into a ditch. His best friend since kindergarten, Corey Johnson, passed away during the accident.

Three years later, in February of 2007, Lemon’s cell phone wouldn’t stop ringing during a tutorial session his freshman year at Georgia. Lemon excused himself from the meeting and found out that there was a fire at his home in Lizzela and that his mother had been killed. Lemon later learned that his mother’s boyfriend actually assaulted and killed her before setting the home on fire.

Coach Tom O’Brien said that some people wondered whether Lemon could succeed at N.C. State after all he has been through, but Lemon has persevered and performed better than anyone expected on and off the field. Michael Lemon truly exemplifies Courage, Character, Contribution and Commitment, but none more than Courage!


Michael Lemon Shines Through Tragedy