Aspergers Syndrome Can't Stop This Kid!
A Passion for Sports
Payne was 9 years old when he discovered his deep passion for Sports. He started with collecting football cards and completing sets, then it grew in to so much more.
Payne has Aspergers Syndrome and he has a difficult time relating to his peers at times so he finds a lot of comfort immersing himself in sports. He loves learning all the player and team facts and statistics.
When Payne was 10 years old he read about a Broadcasters Camp for Kids in his Sports Illistrated Kids magazine and he was super excited! He just knew that was perfect for him, and he was right! Unfortunately the closest camp was three states away from where he lived. He was so disappointed and frustrated. There are so many things that he isn't able to do due to his Aspergers that it really would have been tragic for him to have to let this dream go also.
The Youngest Sportscaster Ever
Payne decided that he could put on his own show and put it on Youtube for all his friends and family to see. He brought out the markers and made a sign, "Payne's Sports Corner". It was official and he was so excited. He was so proud of himself and that was worth all the work!
Payne started making a couple shows a week. Depending on which season it was, he would recap weekly Football, Baseball, or Basketball scores and schedules. He had his Step-dad and brother join him on a few shows as guests and they would do predictions for upcoming football games and give Fantacy Football advice etc. He really found a place where he fit in for the first time in his short life so far!
His love of the sports he was talking about must have shown in his videos because he got some unbelievable opportunities.
Payne got invited to visit the Dave Niehaus Broadcasting Center in Safeco Field in Seattle, Wa. Not only did they provide him with amazing seats to the Mariners VS the Atlanta Braves game but he got to meet Rick Rizz and watch him do part of his broadcast! Incredible!
Payne was also invited to Join Pat Dillon, official Broadcaster for the Minor League Baseball team The Everett AquaSox in the Broadcaster booth for an entire game! He was able to wear the headset to hear how the broadcasts are aired and he got to keep the stats for the game. He knew right then and there, that's what he wants to do with his life.
Then the unbelievable happened. Payne got the opportunity to meet Steve Raible, the official voice of the Seahawks and Warren Moon, the first modern African-American quarterback to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame!
Mr. Raible called himself to let Payne know how amazing he thought his videos were and offered to have Payne come to a Seahawks game, go on the sidelines of the field while the team was warming up and go in to the Broadcast Booth during half time and meet them and Dori Monson! This was truly a once in a life time opportunity!
Pursue Your Interests and Passion
This 11 year old boy couldn't really grasp the gravity of what he was getting to experience but I'm certain that as he grows up he will someday be able to fully appreciate the opportunities he has been given.
Most importantly, he will always know that if you pursue your passion with courage and hard work, your dreams will come true!