WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- If you ask the players on the men's basketball team at Thomas College who had to over come the most to get to where they are, they would most likely point to Carlos Gonzalez.
The 6'7" senior is hard to miss when he's playing on the hardwood at the Waterville college. The team's center is able to take the game seriously when head coach Geoff Hensley calls for it, but is also able to make light of a good play made by someone else, even if he's the player who's getting schooled on defense.
"Carlos is a great leader by example," said Hensley. "He shows up everyday ready to work. He brings great energy and I would attribute a lot of it to his background."
Gonzalez has been playing with sophomore shooting guard Zach Mackinnon since their AAU basketball days in high school. Mackinnon's dad, Mike Mackinnon, provided Gonzalez with a room to stay at his home in Kennebunk when the Lewiston Highs School senior found himself homeless and abandoned. One night turned into a week, a month and then it came time to gather the Mackinnon family for a family meeting.
"We asked Carlos if he wanted to be a part of our family and I think it took him all of a half a second to say yeah I want to be here," said Mike Mackinnon.
Gonzalez finished high school in Lewiston while living with Mike and his wife Julie, who became his legal guardians. The family supported him during his decision to attend Thomas College and his new dad hasn't missed a single game his two sons have played in while there.
"Meant the world to me because he gave me an opportunity that I never had and it also opened doors as far as what I could do with my future and playing basketball," said Gonzalez.
Since high school, Gonzalez has reconnected with his biological mother and other members of his family from Lewiston where he grew up. He'll be graduating from Thomas College in May with a bachelor's degree in Business Management.