INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — While the tragic death of 18-year-old Dijon Anderson rocked Warren Central High School in 2017, it also pulled his former football team together.
The Warriors went undefeated the next season, winning a state championship spearheaded by one of his closest friends and Mr. Football finalist David Bell.
When it was time for Bell to take his talents to the next level, he approached Dijon’s mother, Christa Frazier, and asked if he could wear his teammate’s No. 3 at Purdue, where he’s a wide receiver.
“It was tragedy that he couldn’t, that he wasn’t able to play college football,” Bell said, “and I just think, you know, by wearing his No. 3, I just want to play it for him.”
Frazier said, “It was an honor. I know it was hard losing Dijon, but for him to step up and say, ‘I want to wear a No. 3 and I’m going to represent him and I’m going to keep his legacy alive’ … and he has done that.”
Bell will build off his sophomore campaign, where he led the Big Ten in receiving yards per game.
As for every future touchdown celebration, he’ll continue to point toward the teammate who helped him get there.
“He always gave his best foot forward, and you always knew that you had him on your … on your side. So, I think when a players look at me, I just want them to be able to look at me the same. Just say, ‘I know I got this guy on my side when we go into battle,'” Bell said. “I want everybody to see me as a guy who never gives up, and you guys should be expecting a big season for me.”