Hockey player Indy Jr. Fuel dresses for success

Desmond Garrett arrives at his hockey games in style and he supports him on the ice too.

INDIANAPOLIS – There’s a young hockey player right here in Indianapolis that’s taking social media by storm.

Six-year-old Desmond Garrett plays for the Indy Junior Fuel and dreams of becoming a professional hockey player. This is why for each match day, he shows up at the ice wearing a full suit.

“I dress like this because I never know if the scouts are watching,” Garrett said.

His father, Adam, said he started doing it a few years ago after seeing professional athletes do it.

“We actually got him a tuxedo for Thanksgiving so he could dress up and then he asked if he could wear it to the game,” Adam said. “He played in a few national roller hockey tournaments and wore it there and everyone knew him from that.

The first grader in the costume tends to grab people’s attention. A few weeks ago his dad posted a picture of him in a suit online and it went viral, even posted by the NHL on his Instagram account.

“I think some of the other kids are laughing about it, but he sees the pros doing it and wants to emulate the pros,” Adam said.

Desmond doesn’t just watch the role, he also supports it with his play. Ask anyone at the rink and they’ll tell you the kid has a natural gift.

“The first time we took him ice skating he had the opposite experience of most kids,” said Adam. “He was there for two hours and started screaming because they made him off the ice. Once we got a stick in his hand and he took his first lesson to learn to play hockey at the age of 2, he seemed to just grab it. . “

Desmond hopes to play in the NHL someday, and right now he has said he would like to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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He also hopes his trip to the ice will help encourage other people of color to play hockey as well. Right now, less than 5% of the NHL is made up of players of color.

“It’s an important element. We’ve done everything we can to introduce him to as many people who look like him and who play hockey, ”said Adam. “No matter what the color of his skin, we want people to see that he is a very good hockey player and a very, very good boy.

“I hope other kids learn to play fair and have a great time,” Desmond said.

It is that simple. From his skills on the ice to his combination game off it, Desmond Garrett is sure to have future scouts to watch out for.

Catherine J. Martinez