All every child wants is to make their mother smile.
Mere mention of his name making his mother beam with joy, Temarrick Hemingway certainly knew his accomplishments – chief among them finishing his education at South Carolina State and becoming a well-rounded young man – made her proud.
However, the depths to which her pride dwelled were unveiled Saturday afternoon, a day for which the Loris native will file in his memory bank for the rest of his life.
Hemingway was selected by the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, taken in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. The former South Carolina State tight end was the draft’s overall 177th pick.
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The accomplishment warranted a phone call from his mother, who was so overtaken with emotion she had to hang up and call back, according to the local gridiron star.
“All I heard was her crying, and how proud she was of me,” Hemingway said. “It’s a step into a new situation, a pretty neat one at that.”
Hemingway wavered during his time at North Myrtle Beach High School as to which sport he should play in college, finding it tough deciding between football or basketball.
Despite the obvious tugging of a basketball career, he opted to take his talents to the gridiron. The decision paid off, allowing him to standout as a Chief and earn a scholarship at South Carolina State.
Hemingway played 42 games during his career in Orangeburg, finishing with 91 catches for 1,062 yards. This past season, he hauled in 38 catches for 418 yards.
He was also an asset in the team’s running game, helping Jalen Simmons in his pursuit of a 1,000-yard season. The local standout was named to the All-MEAC team twice.
“As a junior I really began to think I could take this to the next level,” he said. “I realized I had potential, but also had to put the work in.
The best thing about South Carolina State is it helped me get myself right mentally, they helped me build my confidence and learn the importance of lifting weights. Back in high school I didn’t take lifting weights all that seriously, but now I realize the importance and it has paid off.”
The former North Myrtle Beach standout spent part of the day in Orangeburg, handling business but also wondering whether he would even receive the phone call he was waiting for.
Somehow, Hemingway happened to return home at the perfect time ... and the phone call he had eagerly anticipated was waiting.
“It just so happened I got home at the right time, it’s a phone call I’ll remember forever,” he said.
Though Los Angeles is certainly quite the change of pace from that of Loris, it is the perfect price to pay to make a dream come true.
“I don’t think anyone can get used to it unless they stay a while,” Hemingway said. “But I’m certainly looking forward to what the future holds.”