USC Rhodes Scholar named Honorary Captain

Updated: Jan. 15, 2017 at 9:48 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A University of South Carolina senior who has autism is being called an inspiration to so many of the students and faculty on campus.

"It is an invisible disability but I guarantee everybody watching knows someone with autism or has met somebody with autism and they don't know," Rhodes Scholar recipient Jory Fleming said.

Both Jory and his service dog, Daisy, are big fans of the USC Gamecocks.

"He might be our most loyal basketball fan that we have had since I have been here," Head Basketball Coach Frank Martin explained.

Jory and Daisy are used to sitting in the crowd cheering the team on during games, however on Saturday night, their roles were changed. Everyone in the crowd became their fans!

"I don't know quite what to make of it yet, it was a really surreal experience for sure," Fleming said.

Jory was recognized at halftime during the men's basketball game against Ole Miss as the Gamecock's honorary team captain.

"He is a star and he shines brighter than most," Coach Martin said.

To say that Jory is an inspiration is an understatement. When he was five, he was diagnosed with autism and lives with a genetic condition that affects his muscles and everyday life. Jory, however, saw those challenges as an opportunity.

"We all have an issue, a lot of us try to hide our issue. That doesn't allow us to overcome them. He has embraced his issue and he has taken that challenge head on and figured out how to become great regardless of that," Coach Martin said.

Jory is one of 32 students nationwide to earn the Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. This achievement is something only 10 students have earned at USC. He's also a 4.0 student pursing a double major.

"Everybody has challenges," Fleming said. "I'll be leaving in the fall to study at Oxford in England, I'll be there for 2 years getting a master's degree and then after that I hope to work for our government."

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