Omarion Bones’ mother, Monica Fitzpatrick, died the day after Christmas. The then 17-year-old, found his mom unresponsive that morning after spending all night laughing and talking with her before bed.

Omarion Bones’ mother, Monica Fitzpatrick, died the day after Christmas. The then 17-year-old, found his mom unresponsive that morning after spending all night laughing and talking with her before bed.

Bones made a promise that he would make his mom proud and continue the journey to graduation and college and this past Saturday he was able to stand proud on his word.

The Stuttgart High School Senior received his diploma with a smile on his face. Escorted by family members he walked down the football field, one last time as a student-athlete.

“It made me so proud,” said Bones who will be attending the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff. “I know she was looking down smiling.”

Even if Bones wanted to give up, he had a community that never gave up on him and pushed him to strive for greatness.

Even strangers reached out and contributed through a memorial fund, which Bones said he was grateful for. He added that without the help of his mentors, close friends, and family he would not have been able to get through.

“I am proud of him for completing high school and working on getting to the next level in life,” said Larry Cox, who took Bones under his wing as a mentee. Cox said with Monica’s permission, he became more involved in Bones life as a mentor and after her death he would remind Bones of the conversation that he had with his mother.

One of those conversations included graduating from college which Bones expressed his excitement for his future.

“I’m going to make her proud again and graduate college,” said Bones who will pursue football at UAPB and a degree in Engineering and Sports Management.

Bones said he has been in contact with the coaches and a partial scholarship is an option.

The connection to football is more than just love for the game. It also connects Bones to his mom because she and his little brother, 15-year-old Damerius Fitzpatrick, were his biggest fan.

“I’m doing this for mom and I got to set an example for my little brother,” said Bones.

Bones played both soccer and football for the Ricebirds. His mom wearing his jersey number proudly is one of the cherished memories he will keep with him forever.

“I know is my mom was here she would be all smiles because she got to see one of her wishes for me come true,” said Bones. “I’m not going to let her down.”