SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Parker Houston has proven to be one of the best athletes to come out of Northern Nevada. The Reed graduate turned his stellar run with the Raiders into a full-ride scholarship to San Diego State, and now, the 6'3" tight end has a contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
But his latest heroics were far from the field and much bigger than any game.
"Freshman year, I had an aunt who battled breast cancer," said Houston. "It was tough, not easy on any of us. But she fought very hard and we're proud of her."
Houston says losing her hair devastated his Aunt Karen. Feeling helpless in the moment, Houston decided on a long-term commitment to honor his family and help those in similar situations.
"I knew if I could grow out my hair and help someone in a situation like that, help a family going through that horrible trial. It's something that would make me proud, make my family proud," said Houston.
Starting his freshman year in 2016, Houston grew his hair throughout his entire college career. He recently donated 18 inches to 'Locks of Love', which helps provide wigs for financially disadvantaged children in need.
"Being able to help kids out is very important," said Houston. "Give them something such as a wig to help them with their appearance, help them with their confidence, their happiness. That's huge for me."
It won't be Houston's first donation. He'll grow it out again and do the same. Keeping his Aunt's memory alive atop his, and others, heads.
"She was such an inspiration. Being able to do that in memory of her is huge for me."
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