My name is Isaiah Bingham. I am the first legally blind football player in Delaware. I am 11 years old – soon to be 12.
I go to a private school called Red Lion Christian Academy and I am the owner and CEO of my own clothing brand called Vision Clothing Apparel.
I first started playing sports at 4 years old. My first sport was baseball, then I started playing basketball at 9, where my team and I won the championship. My first-time feeling of winning! Then I wanted to play the sport my heart was truly in: football. My mom said no, but my dad signed me up anyway because he knew where my passion was.
Making the team
So I entered the Middletown, Odessa, Townsend (MOT) league in Delaware, where I had to compete in a combine and a draft. In the draft, I was doing everything that all the other kids were doing. The coaches didn’t know about my blindness until my asthma started acting up and one of the coaches gave me an inhaler. He started talking to my dad, asking how long I had been playing, because the drills were so easy to me. My dad told him this was my first year and that I’m legally blind – and the coach could not believe it!
Fast forward a week later: my dad got a call from that coach. He told my dad “We drafted Isaiah, first round, second pick.” And then a star was born.
Leading up to the season, they thought I would be a minimum player. But by the second half of the first game, I was wreaking havoc – I caused two fumbles and recorded a sack and a half.
I would go on to become the starting nose guard and lead my team in tackles for most sacks and forced fumbles.
But it’s not all about football
I currently play football, but I’m also working full time on my brand Vision, while still maintaining a 3.0 GPA and running my business. I’m also a soon-to-be author of a book called “The Way I See It.”
There are a lot of other exciting things happening for me, too. I do a lot of interviews and make appearances in different cities and states. I’ve met the Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, along with senators and many other famous people. I also have the key to the city of Newark, Delaware.
I’ve been voted team captain. I’ve been on the cover of Scholastic News and News Journal. I was named May Athlete of the Month. I was a special guest at the University of Delaware football game. I have been honored numerous times on sports radio, news networks and much more.
At my company, we say, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” And I am on my way!
About the Author
Isaiah Bingham was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a condition called bilateral optic nerve coloboma. He currently lives with his family in Delaware when he’s not traveling the country, sharing his vision with students, community leaders and the media.