The chance to repeat as state football champion, earn the No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY Super 25 and be a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Nevada figured to be enough motivation for running back Biaggio Ali-Walsh for the 2016 season. But late Friday night Ali-Walsh, grandson of three-time heavyweight boxing champion and cultural icon Muhammad Ali, announced a new motivation:
Ali-Walsh, oldest son of Ali’s daughter Rasheda Ali-Walsh, is a 5-foot-10, 182-pound running back for Bishop Gorman High. He earned the Gatorade honor after rushing for more than 2,200 yards and 30 touchdowns during his junior season. Bishop Gorman has won seven consecutive state championships with two consecutive finishes atop the Super 25.
One of those championship games was witnessed by his late grandfather, who died Friday night surrounded by family in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 74. Bishop Gorman presented Ali with a state championship ring the following summer.
Ali-Walsh shared a tribute and photo of himself with his grandfather on Saturday morning.
Ali-Walsh has a scholarship offer from Arizona and recently received scholarship offers from Cal and Vanderbilt. He also has memories – and now perhaps a motivation – that cannot be matched.