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December 11, 2009

Soccer Dreams

Soccer DREAMS

In the sports world, the buzz is all about soccer. This past week, the draws for the World Cup were announced. One young man who dreams of representing the U.S. in international play is Mike Paye. Mike grew up in Liberia. He moved to the U.S. when his home country was rocked by war and his father died in the violence. The one thing Mike remembers about growing up, and about his father, is soccer. 

Now Mike honors the memory of his dad as a stand out player on a club team in Raleigh, N.C. Through his sport, he's also found a new family. He connected with fellow player Trey Johnson - Trey's mom adopted Mike and now the two are brothers. Dick Gordon talks with Mike and Trey about their friendship, and their love of soccer, just as their team gets ready to play a championship game.

A Protest in Mogadishu

A few weeks ago, The Story listeners met Abdi, a young school teacher living in Mogadishu, Somalia. Abdi has agreed to become a regular voice on The Story. When a suicide bomber killed more than 20 people at a graduation ceremony last week, Abdi raced to the scene to check on two of his students who were there. Abdi talks about what he saw, and how amazed he was by the students' response: for the first time ever in Mogadishu, people took to the streets in protest against the brutal militant group fighting for control of Somalia.

Heisman Footballs

The winner of the 75th Heisman Trophy will be announced this Saturday night. In the 1930s, John Prince’s father Willard came up with the idea to award the best college football player a special trophy. The success of the Heisman Trophy was one of John's father’s greatest accomplishments. And John got to attend dozens of award presentations and meet many of the winners. He also gets a special gift each year -  footballs autographed by the winner. Over the years, those signed footballs have helped him raise funds for a charity dear to his heart, the Multiple Sclerosis Society. This story was originally aired on December 10, 2008.

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