Michael Schnyder Serves as Inspiration to All

Roderick Daniels

To many, a mother’s love can mean everything, but what happens when your mother doesn’t have the strength to lift her head?

This is the situation that Michael Schnyder must live with.

Around campus, he is known as the leading scorer for the men’s basketball team at GCC. He averaged 18 points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals this season as he was voted MVP of the Western State Southern Division.

On the court, he is free-spirited and cocky. The basketball court is his only escape from real life.

What people don’t know is that he must take care of his mother, Annie Slaughter, who has multiple sclerosis.

The only exception is when he is at school, or at a game. A state-funded nurse takes care of his mother during these times.

With his mom, the gentle, caring, and loving side of Schnyder comes out. He is always there for her, taking care of her like she did with him when he was just a child.

Schnyder, 20, must pay the bills, change her sheets, and give injections of medications. He and his mother live on her monthly Social Security check of $721.

There barely is enough money for him to pay the bills.

There are times when Schnyder has had to leave practice early, or miss it altogether. Coach Brian Beauchemin has had to plan his practice around Schnyder’s schedule.

He carries a pager with him that sits on the sidelines at practice, and at games. He prays that it doesn’t go off, because it could mean something has gone wrong with his mother.

At halftime during a game against College of the Canyons, the pager went off. A friend told him that his mother was calling for him. Schnyder got dressed, ready to hurry home. He decided to call back, and his friend reassured him that his mother was fine, so he played in the second half. He wound up scoring 22 points to lead Glendale to victory.

Glendale went on to win nine of their next 10 games.

Schnyder has hopes of going to a division-one school next fall. He has received letters from Utah State, and the University of Arkansas. But he wants to stay in Southern California to be close to his mom.

“I wasn’t that serious about basketball,” said Schnyder. “When my dad died, then I got serious.”

On Schnyder’s brother, Kenyatta’s, birthday on April 18, his father, Leo, died of a heart attack. He was only 58.

“He was my best friend,” said Schynder. “I wanted to quit, but my five brothers (who don’t live with Schnyder) wanted me to play, and coach helped me also.”

Donations can be sent to the Glendale College Foundation, Care of the Schyder Family, 1500 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale CA 91208. For more information, call Alex Leon at Ext. 5764.