Beyond the Game: Former NFL player pens book about local student overcoming obstacles

Former NFL player Tim Green, now a bestselling author, has a new book that might resonate with students at a Central Arkansas school.

“When I met Brett, I thought, what a courageous story,” Green said.

A few years ago, he spoke at Central Arkansas Christian. There, he met Brett Bell, an eighth grader who was diagnosed deaf at birth. His disability doesn’t prevent him from playing basketball and baseball for the Mustangs.

“Obviously he has some incredible challenges that he’s worked hard to overcome and I just thought, what an inspirational story that could be, if I could have a character like that.”

In Left Out, which will be released Tuesday, September 27, a boy with cochlear implants dreams of playing football. Bell’s name is used for the boy who helps him do so.

“We really wanted to come up with a book that showed some of the things in Brett’s daily life [that] he goes through,” said Kristi Bell, Brett’s mom.

“It’s incredible. I held the book in my hand last night.”

Brett’s name isn’t the only one with special meaning on Mustang Mountain. Megan Nickell, a CAC student who died in 2015, also has a character that shares her name.

Green wouldn’t give away the ending, but added this: “Like the Brett Bell story in real life, the story in Left Out is an inspirational one.

Kristi hopes the book teaches valuable lessons to everyone that takes the time to read it.

“All people are the same on the inside,” she said.

By Kyle Deckelbaum

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