Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit
By STEVE KORNACKI  |  Last updated 7/29/13
DETROIT -- Balaal Hollings survived a bullet that remains lodged in his brain, yet still hopes to fulfill his dream of playing college football. Doctors have told Hollings that that isn't likely, but he figures theyve been wrong before and notes, "God is in charge." Hollings also was told hed never walk or talk again. He's doing both now and plans to attend either Eastern Michigan or Wayne State in January. Hollings will undergo another surgery next week at Detroit Medical Centers Sinai-Grace Hospital, where on April 8 he arrived in a speeding ambulance with little chance to live after a ricochet shot blew away part of his skull at a house party in Detroit. Theyre replacing part of my skull with titanium, Hollings said. He took off his Tigers baseball cap to expose the wound to Detroit All-Stars Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder, who met with Hollings in the clubhouse at Comerica Park over the weekend. Balaal took that hat off and it was like, Man! Hunter said while pursuing his lips and shaking his head. "What hes been through, this kid? Hollings was the senior class president and a six-sport athlete at Detroit Northwestern High. A 6-foot-2, 320-pound nose guard and offensive lineman, he planned to play at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis. After the accident, Hollings inspired his classmates -- who also voted him class clown -- by attending the Class of 2013 graduation and addressing them. Hes convinced that his faith in God has gotten him over every hurdle, and Hunter agreed. Said Hunter: I told him, God has bigger plans for you. Stay the way you are, and good things are in store for you. "Hes intelligent, with a lot of character and charisma. And hes very mature for being 18. Ten years from now, well be saying, Look what hes doing! Theres no limit for that kid. Hollings smiled and said: For Torii to speak so highly of me, saying, Hes going somewhere! Well, that means so much to me. "I love that guy. Hes so down to earth, and I felt like Ive known him my whole life. I interviewed and wrote about Hollings after he made his miraculous recovery. At the time, he asked about my profession, what I usually covered. When I told him that I wrote about the Tigers, he said he wanted to meet Torii Hunter. I told Hunter about Hollings, and Hunter was enthusiastic about talking with him. A meeting was arranged, and Fielder became captivated with Hollings when he came into the clubhouse. Prince was so happy to see him, Hunter said. Said Fielder: Hes a nice young man and a very good guy. You can tell. And he has such a great smile on his face all the time. I really liked meeting him. Hollings received an autographed bat from both players and got a signed glove from Fielder -- a first baseman, just like Hollings. Tigers equipment manager Jim Schmakel found him a XXXL Tigers pullover at the request of the players. I told Prince, You make big dogs look good," Hollings said. And he laughed about that. I was wearing a Prince Fielder T-shirt and told him I had to shop for one that fits. "He said, I know the feeling, so they got me something that finally fits. Prince, meeting him was on my bucket list. His personality, like Toriis, was something so special. "Hey, Ill never forget meeting them. Im so blessed and thankful. For two of the best players in baseball, the feeling was mutual.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clippers set new low bar for NBA playoff futility

Rendon becomes 13th player with 10 RBI in single game

LaVar Ball says he had no role in firing of sons' HS coach

Manziel not planning bachelor party, focused on NFL comeback

Bills owner struggles to answer question about competency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Olynk cracks funny joke about Thomas' missing tooth

NFL exec: Bears GM Ryan Pace 'just got fired with this draft'

John Elway consulted Jim Kelly before drafting nephew Chad

McCloughan a possible candidate for Bills' GM vacancy?

Rockies-Diamondbacks game included a broken-bat homer and the longest homer of 2017

Report: Texans wouldn’t take Jay Cutler’s calls

Getaway Day: The Nationals may be a bonafide powerhouse

NBA playoffs: Rivalries to rematches, stories to follow in the second round

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rendon becomes 13th player with 10 RBI in single game

Getaway Day: Nats may be a bonafide powerhouse

NBA playoffs: Rivalries to rematches, stories to follow in the second round

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker