PHOENIX - Some little kids get separation anxiety from their "binky" or "blanky." For a certain Valley athlete, it was a soccer ball.
It's fitting when you consider that a soccer ball was placed in his crib as an infant.
"I grew up playing," said Cyprian Hedrick.
So it makes sense why the Phoenix FC defender can't even tell you when he started playing the game. It's not that his memory is failing; it's that he can't remember a day when he wasn't playing soccer.
During an interview with ABC15 Sports, Hedrick most definitely remembered the role his mother played in shaping his soccer career.
"I remember when I was little, we'd go to club games, and a guy would push me, and she'd be like ‘Get out there…push him back.'" Hedrick said. "That's just the kind of person she was."
See, as a 14-year-old, Hedrick lost his mother to cancer.
"At that stage in my life, I needed her. I still need her, but you know, it really opened my eyes to a lot of things. And it helped me appreciate the people I had around me, because you never know how long someone's gonna be around."
She never got to see Hedrick live out his dream as a professional soccer player. He was drafted in the second round by Sporting Kansas City. However, her legacy lives on through him.
"A lot of the person I am today is because of how I was raised by her, so I'm a feisty defender, and that all comes from my Mom's side of the family," said Hedrick.
He suffered an injury in the majors and spent time going through rehabilitation. Now you can see him on the field again, this time playing as a defenseman for Phoenix FC.