Despite the many obstacles thrown at athletes, such as career-ending injuries and the agony of season-ending defeats, junior Fabian Romo and senior Mark Ramirez Jr. have the support of their families during some of the difficult times in their careers.
The two competed against each other in various competitions during their high school days and their friendship grew during their involvement in junior competitions. Now, the pair are not only best friends, but teammates on the Movin’ Mavs squad.
“I used to talk smack to him but he used to always beat me because his team was a lot more stacked,” Ramirez said.
The parents of Fabian Romo and Mark Ramirez Jr. trekked to Minnesota to support their kids at the 2018 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.
“It’s very important to support the team, but also because my son is in the team,” Arturo Romo said.
Fabian Romo’s parents drove to Wisconsin last year, where they witnessed their son win his first national title with the Movin’ Mavs.
After coming up short against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semifinal, the Movin’ Mavs (12-3) capped off its 2017-18 season with a victory against the University of Missouri to take third place in the National Tournament.
“Keep going, keep going, you’re gonna be okay,” Silvia Romo told her son. “They’re going to be learning from this experience today.”
After the final buzzer for the game sounded in the semifinal, Arturo Romo pulled his son aside, who was emotionally distraught and told him to hold his head up high after the team was stunned in its quest to claim back-to-back titles.
Mark Ramirez Sr. said he felt the players competed well during the tournament and should be proud of their performances. The loss will teach them good things about life, he said. With wins and losses a part of the journey, it’s all about how they react and learn from the experience.
“My parents are crazy, they always go everywhere,” Fabian Romo said. “Having that support system is always great. Of course every player would love for their parents to come, but for us to have our parents here, it means a lot. It just shows how much they care for us and how much they have [supported] us throughout our entire basketball career.”
As Fabian Romo heads into his senior year, he will have a chance to prevail at next year’s tournament along with the rest of the team. Silvia Romo said no matter what her son chooses to pursue after college, she and her husband will have his back.
With the season at a close, Mark Ramirez will be graduating this May and said he plans to play for the Dallas Freewheelers in the summer. Within the next couple of months, Fabian Romo will go through a selection process to be able to represent Team USA at the 2018 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation World Championships in Hamburg, Germany in August.
“He’s my best friend, it sucks that we couldn’t get another ring for him,” Fabian Romo said. “We ended up with a win at the end of the day, for sure gonna miss him, but I know he’s going to be around.”