In a recent ESPN special feature documented by Longhorn Network, LHN’s Lowell Galindo sat down with Texas Longhorns sophomore guard Courtney Ramey and his family to share his life story on the inspiring reason behind why he wears the No. 3 jersey.
For Ramey, the No. 3 jersey represents more than just a jersey number. It serves as a tribute to honor his closest people who passed away throughout the early stages of his life — his grandmother, mother Angie, and childhood best friend Alvin.
In Courtney’s own words, here’s the life-long impact that those three have had on him.
“Before every game I picture them watching me. My three reasons... The three reasons why I do what I do. Three reasons why I wake up. Three reasons why I play ball. Three reasons why I make right decisions. Three reasons why I’m at Texas. Three reasons why I have dreams. Three is three, because of the three people above.”
“It’s put me in a mental place where I have a purpose. I have a reason to do what I got to do because they all had an impact on my life. And that I can say I impacted their lives even though they’re not here.”
After losing the two most influential women in his life before turning just 10 years of age, Ramey remarkably channeled his personal losses into finding a true passion with the game of basketball. “I took my anger out on the court. I worked so hard and knew that nothing was going to stop me from getting to where I wanted to be.”
As Ramey grew older, his relationship with his father grew stronger over the years. His father, Terrell, eventually coached him on an AAU travel basketball team. Not only did the game of basketball bring the Ramey family closer together — Courtney met his future best friend Alvin Sanders Jr. on the court, too.
Early on during Ramey’s senior year of high school, Alvin passed away from an accidental shooting at the early age of 17.
Six months after his best friends passing, Ramey was named the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year. He signed with Texas later that month — fulfilling a promise he made to his mother, grandmother, and Alvin.
Ramey’s impact on and off the court will forever live on in the Sanders household.
“I got a big picture of AJ [Alvin] on my wall at my home now... Every time Courtney plays, I turn the game on because I know he’s watching. I sit there and watch the whole game — just like it’s just me and my son watching the game. I talk to him. I see my son through him at all times.” — Alvin Sanders Sr.
During unprecedented times like these, a powerful story like this serves as an important reminder to always strive to honor and live for the ones you love the most. Impactful deaths, especially on a personal level, tend to remind us how precious and fragile life can be at times. Become that inspiration for someone else.