On the football field, A’Shon Riggins was a decorated athlete. In high school, he played for four years, playing cornerback, wide receiver and quarterback and eventually breaking rush yard records and tying the record for most catches in a game. By the time he came to play for IU, he immediately was a starter as a freshman, playing cornerback and earning All B1G 10 Freshman Honorable Mention.
But Riggins struggled with feeling alone. As he tells it, he would celebrate with teammates on victories, but off the field he was by himself. Signs of depression began, though he had no idea what he was going through. His struggles culminated in September 2018 when he attempted suicide.
“I was in a very dark place … alone,” Riggins recalls. “That right there was the focal point of everything: the fact that I felt alone. It is okay to be in a dark place as long as you are talking to someone about it, and I was not.”
Riggins started talking to a sports psychologist with IU and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
“I honestly felt a relief to have some type of results to what I had gone through,” he said. “The goal from there was to make sure no one else felt like they had to harm themselves like I did because they felt alone.”