Pitt Receiver Finds LOVE

Tre Tipton returns from injury a new man

Jeff Hathhorn
August 23, 2018 - 7:06 pm

93.7 the Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – It’s a rare story of someone who embraces adversity: a football player who says having a year wiped out by a knee injury was a great occurrence.

“The injury is the best thing that ever happened to me, by far,” said Pitt receiver Tre Tipton who is returning to the field after missing last season following knee surgery. “I would never regret it, would never regret saying that.” 

“It’s the best thing so far that ever happened to me because it made me grow up as a man. It basically put adversity right in front of me and said either you are going to go through it or it’s going to destroy you.”

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This is a 22-year-old from Apollo, who added he’s “excited about adversity in the future” because “pain is the best teacher.” 

“With injury, everybody knows you go through a hardship, through hard times and it becomes very difficult,” Tipton said. “But if you have a positive mindset, it’s very possible to come back better than you were before.”

So instead of sulking through the unfortunate event in his life, Tipton paid it forward. Teaming with Elee Kahlil, a Baldwin-Whitehall grad who had his wrestling career at Pitt cut short by an injury. Tipton said they’ve becomes best friends in creating love.

More specifically the student-athletic help group LOVE — Living Out Victoriously Every day. Tipton and Kahlil set the goal to help all student athletes struggling with depression, anxiety or injuries.

“A lot of student-athletes go through this, when depression hits, I don’t care who you are, it’s like a bullet that has no name,” Tipton said.

Tipton says they hold weekly meetings and have had fellow football players attend as well as athletes from a number of Pitt sports. 

“We would tell everybody to close their eyes and we’d explain things that people wouldn’t think that another person of a different ethnicity or from a different area would go through,” Tipton said.  “Turns out when they close their eyes and when we explain these things, they were all on the same plane.”

The junior from Apollo-Ridge High School said he was more nervous speaking in front of that group than playing football, as he explained his message of becoming more of a positive person after losing a season.

“I didn’t want to come back and be average or feel that I became less than what I was before, because the old me after the injury is dead,” Tipton said.  “It’s no longer existent. So at that point I knew if that’s the case, I had to be better than what I was before and not decrease from the injury.”

“Tre is a remarkable young man,” said Pitt’s head football coach Pat Narduzzi. “He cares about others in the student body. I wish we could get in and measure some hearts sometimes when you are on the road recruiting or in a team meeting. That guy has a big, big heart. He’s not like the Grinch.  He’s got this gigantic thing inside his chest cavity that he cares about other people.”

Tipton says they’re working on a website, but you can find more about the organization on Instagram @ALLL.O.V.E.

“The reason I picked the word love is at the end of the day, that’s what we need,” Tipton said. “That’s what we all need. Is to share, spread and give love.”

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