TIGARD, OR (KPTV) - Coming from Ghana, Africa, to Tigard, Oregon, Josh Schleichardt is motivated to play baseball. 

The 18-year-old Lakeridge High School senior was 6-years-old when he came stateside after spending four years in an adoption center. 

“My parents couldn’t afford to raise me, being the youngest of five siblings, so growing up in poverty in Ghana, it was kind of tough to do so, so they put me in adoption and I was lucky enough that I was chosen by a pretty good family and brought here,” Schleichardt said. 

Growing up with a loving family in Tigard, Schleichardt immediately took to the sport he now cherishes the most. 

“Actually, soccer was my first love," Schleichardt said. "Obviously, transitioning from Africa that is what we did in the orphanage was kick balls around and stuff like that, so coming here, baseball has just kind of always been there since I held a bat in my hand and put the glove on.”

The star third baseman who transferred to the Lakeridge Pacers for senior season has found his path forward in a relentless year of letdowns. 

“I was originally committed to Boise State, and then they cut their baseball program a couple of months ago,” Schleichardt said. 

When one part of life strikes out, take another swing; Schleichardt has now signed on to play for and learn at the University of Utah.

“It’s amazing just having that background and seeing where I am now and how much work and effort and sacrifices I’ve made for myself to kind of keep pushing myself to keep getting better, but it’s true, it’s truly been a blessing to see where I am going now and hopefully that continues to keep happening,” Schleichardt said. 

Schleichardt is also looking forward to blessings at home. 

“I am an only child here, but we’re going through the adoption process right now of adopting my four-year-old little brother from Ghana right now, so that has been exciting, and we are hoping to bring him here in the next year or so," Schleichardt said. "Been counting all of the blessings that 2020 honestly brought to our family and us.”

Schleichardt says with the pandemic, this year has been discouraging, but he hasn't lost hope.

“It is a little deflating just knowing that we, honestly, we’re just hoping we get a season here but just hoping," Schleichardt said. "We might not even get to enjoy senior year with that group of guys and kind of get to do all of that stuff that we were planning to do senior year as brotherhood and the Pacer baseball program.”

If you think you or someone you know deserves a senior spotlight, please reach out to Nick Krupke at nick.krupke@kptv.com.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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