Marshall University Football Legend Lester Hicks Overcomes Suicidal Thoughts and Rebounds to Legendary Status

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Marshall University athlete is newly self-published author and one of 125 Most Impactful Black Athletes after a deep depression.

Lester Hicks has had his fair share of adversity. One can only wonder what would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back after having to deal with setback after setback. Although he has been greatly challenged, Hicks has put behind the thoughts of suicide and now leads the life of a champion.

Against All Odds - 4th Down and Forever, the newly self-published title by Hicks, recounts life from brink of suicide to plane tragedy aftermath from his childhood to his years at the famous Marshall University. This book is more than a sports biography, but also an open and honest account of how giving up on it all or throwing in the towel is a true emotion that athletes experience.

Suicidal intentions are prompted by a desperate need for relief from intensely painful feelings. Surviving suicidal thoughts is about learning how to find relief without resorting to suicide, as explained by

Simply having suicidal thoughts does not mean one will act on them. However, the habit of repeatedly thinking about suicide is a risky one. Repetition brings a sense of falsely comforting familiarity. It dulls the instinctive recoil from danger. Though it may be difficult, hold on to the belief that there ARE ways to resist depression and find relief.

During his time at Marshall and in the following years, Hicks faced his share of misfortunes. Hicks's date with destiny unraveled when he suffered a partially torn deltoid. His playing time and grades decreased as his frustration escalated. Hicks's twist of fate took him to the brink of suicide.

A trusted friend, unknowingly convinced Hicks that he had many reasons to live. Hicks emerged from his state of depression and learned not to complain about anything. He concluded that millions would have loved to have had the good and the bad of his life, and he started treating each day as if it were his last. He committed the rest of his football career and life playing and living for one of the crash victims, The Marshall Herd plane crash of 1970.

Hicks nearly died after passing out during a weight-training session in college due to viral hepatitis. He survived a near-fatal blood clot after a knee scope in 1992. He was almost killed in a car crash in 2005, and later that year he suffered a ruptured appendix with an ensuing, unbearable fissure. Once again, complications of his ruptured appendix made him ponder suicide again, but Hicks decided against suicide; he did not want to put an additional burden on his family and his faith in God.

In 2005, Marshall University named Hicks as one of its "125 Most Impactful Black Athletes," and Hicks was also honored at his high school in Steubenville, Ohio where his family had been jeered because of their impoverished condition. Forty-two years later, he was cheered while tossing the coin and serving as the honorary captain at his high school's homecoming game.

Lester Hicks’ motto is simple “root for the underdog.” Hicks serves as a mentor to troubled youth, teaches Sunday school, serves on the Cobb County Literacy Council to decrease the dropout rate and improve literacy in his county. Hicks maintains an emotional tie to his former coach, the program, and the university that did so much for his character and prepared him to touch the lives of others through service and mentoring.

About the author
Lester Hicks earned an associate of arts degree from Ellsworth Community College and a bachelor of arts and a Master of Science degree from Marshall University. Hicks, a senior environmental safety engineer, has been with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for 28 years. Hicks and his wife, Della, live in Powder Springs, GA.

For more information or to contact Lester Hicks log onto Follow on twitter @hicksbooks or call 678.469.5273

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