NBC News tells the story of Kalin Bennett of Little Rock, who recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Kent State:

An Arkansas teen with autism who was once told he would never walk or talk has defied the odds — and is now joining Kent State University’s basketball team.

Kalin Bennett, 18, of Little Rock, was recruited by the Ohio school earlier this month, and accepted Kent State’s offer to play starting next season. It was a history-making move: According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Bennett may be the first student-athlete with autism to sign a national letter of intent to play a team sport at the Division I level.

The 6’10, 300-pound phenom, who didn’t walk until he was 4 years old and didn’t talk until he was 7, told Cleveland.com:

I want to make an impact not just on the court, but with kids that are struggling with the same things I am. I want to use this platform to inspire other kids with autism and non-autism. I want to let them know, hey, if I can do this, you can do it, too. A lot of times they feel alone and by themselves, and I felt that same way growing up.

Bennett said that he was recruited by several schools, and chose Kent State in part because of its autism support programs. A graduate of Little Rock Christian last May, Bennet plays basketball this year for Link Year Prep, in Branson, Mo., a Christian “gap year” program that includes college prep and basketball training.

Here’s more from SBNation