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Photograph of Trevone Boykin engaging young Iowa State fan goes viral

At the coin flip, TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) knelt to ask Abby Faber, an Iowa State honorary captain at the flip as a guest, her name. The TCU Horned Frogs play the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, October 17, 2015.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographer Paul Moseley doesn’t normally take the field for coin tosses, but he did for the Iowa State game Saturday. By doing so, he took a photograph that has held national attention since.

Moseley said at most games he covers, like the Dallas Cowboys or TCU, he’s not allowed out on the field. When he was allowed to be out there this time, he didn’t want to miss a photo opportunity like that.

So, he didn’t.

The photographer said he stood so he could get the players faces, then he saw Boykin start to come over to a young Iowa State fan, Abby Faber.

“He knelt down, put both hands on the sides of her wheelchair and looked her right in the eyes,” Moseley said. “I was touched.”

Faber serves as a kid captain at Iowa State, which means she has a challenging medical illness. Through Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, which is partnered with Iowa State athletics, she can assist with coin tosses.

Seven-year-old Abby Faber is an Iowa State fan who got to meet TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin before the kickoff of the football game Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
Seven-year-old Abby Faber is an Iowa State fan who got to meet TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin before the kickoff of the football game Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

Moseley says he was very lucky and privileged to have seen the exchange between the two. It showed him a lot about Boykin in the brief couple of seconds.

“I was very impressed.” Moseley said.

It wasn’t any big dramatic story, he said. It was about a man who said three kind words to a child.

“‘What’s your name?’ And it was the way he said your,” Moseley said. “It’s like the way we talk to children.”

In his press conference after the game, Boykin described the feeling of knowing he has support of fans from other teams as a “warm feeling.”

“You really can’t put it into words,” Boykin said. “It makes me so unbelievably proud that I can be in this position.”

The photograph Moseley took of the two has swept the social media world.

It has been a trending topic on Yahoo, it has over 153 thousand likes on the Sports Center Instagram page and fans in and out of the Horned Frog community are talking about it.

Moseley said it’s more than just a number; it’s a whole new set of people every time it’s shared. People pick it up and share it with their followers, who share it with theirs.

“It just keeps going,” Moseley said. “It’s kind of surprising.”

This isn’t the first time one of his photos has gone viral.

Moseley says the most widely known photographs he has taken recently were portraits of American sniper Chris Kyle. He photographed him about a year before he was killed, and they were the only portraits of that style that existed. He said every news outlet used them after Chris died.

“It’s the portrait you think of when you think of Chris,” Moseley said.

Moseley also said the Star-Telegram talked to the Faber family and that Abby is really enjoying this experience.


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