A'Shon Riggins was young, strong and fulfilling his Indiana Univeristy destiny set in motion in Hamilton, Ohio, where he played three positions on the football field and lettered in basketball as well.
In his freshman season at Indiana in 2016, Riggins was a BTN.com All-Freshman honorable mention, yet he didn't feel accomplished.
After a win against Maryland that year, a game he felt he played particularly well in, he didn’t receive any congratulatory calls or texts. He sat in his dorm room motionless for hours before forcing himself to pretend he was happy while his teammates celebrated.
“I still felt like I was just an empty body,” Riggins says.
Diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2018, Riggins felt hopelessness weighing him down. But as a Black male athlete, he feared showing emotion.
That changed after Riggins attempted suicide on Sept. 25, 2018.
'It's just how we handle it'
He was hospitalized for three days in the week leading up to Indiana’s game at Rutgers that season. He isolated himself in the hospital and sat in self-pity until another patient approached him.