Keeping Ray’s name alive

Asbury coach Will Shouse talks with his team during a timeout in the Ray Shouse Memorial Game against IU-Southeast.

Scholarship fund for coach’s son continues to grow

By John Herndon, 110forChrist.com

When Asbury University men’s basketball coach Will Shouse and his wife, Whitney, pursued adoption, little did they know how their experience would change them. 

And they certainly did not realize they would be given an opportunity to change others through their young son. 

Asbury coach Will Shouse talks with Desmond Duke during the Eagles’ game with IU-Southeast.

The Shouses agreed to adopt a baby who would be born to a woman serving time in prison in Florida. But when the boy they named Ray Hudson Shouse arrived, he was seriously ill. Four months later, Ray died without ever coming home.

The Shouse family eventually adopted a little girl, Ruby, who is now 3 years old and is quite a popular figure at Asbury home games. 

(You can read a full account of the Shouse story, told in 2017, here.)

The Shouses decided to honor Ray with a college scholarship program that is funded, in part, by the Ray Shouse Memorial Game, which Asbury has hosted for three years. This year’s game was played on Feb. 8, when Asbury hosted IU-Southeast. The game had originally been set for the week before against Carlow, but that game was canceled due to concerns over a flu outbreak.

I talked with Shouse last week as he was on the recruiting trail at Anderson County High School.. He said that despite the late change of plans, the 2020 edition of the Ray Shouse Memorial Game had been a success. “At this time, we have raised about $2000 but we still have checks coming in,” he said.

IU-Southeast coach Wiley Brown sports a T-shirt from the Ray Shouse Memorial Game during the Grenadiers visit to Asbury on Feb. 8.

Shouse said the fund has raised over $6,000 since it was created two years ago.

The scholarship fund is for two $1,000 scholarships to be awarded each year. Neither Shouse nor his wife take part in determining the recipients, who are chosen from applications for the award. Shouse said that while he and his wife are both Asbury alumni, there is no requirement for the recipient to attend that school. “I just pray about it that the money will go where it needs to go,” he says. “It’s about keeping (Ray’s) name alive and giving someone who has a need some help with money.”

Even today, Shouse vividly remembers the young boy he loved but never carried out of a Florida hospital. “We thought he was getting ready to come home near the end,” he remembers. But Ray’s condition turned worse, eventually ending his life.

Ray never took a step or spoke a word, but Shouse says the baby is still impacting lives and will continue to do so through the scholarship fund. “It makes me feel good to see the support and it makes me know we made the right decision in taking him.”

To contribute to the Ray Shouse Memorial Scholarship, mail a check in care of Coach Will Shouse, Asbury University, 1 Macklem Drive, Wilmore, Ky., 40390.

Asbury’s Leander Ridgeway goes for the basket against IU-Southeast during the Ray Shouse Memorial Game on Feb. 8. IU-Southeast won, 105-93. (All photos by John Herndon)

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