Blake Fisher gives back to South Bend community with YMCA

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - A slight meniscus tear to his knee put a stop on offensive lineman Blake Fisher’s Notre Dame debut last season but he knew he would be back and make the most of his opportunity. Fisher returned for the Fiesta Bowl and is now the starting right tackle on the Irish O-line.

“There's definitely a different level of confidence and appreciation when I step on the field because, you know, you can never take anything for granted, not saying I did but now there's a different level of urgency of wanting to be consistent and then go out there every day,” Fisher said.

That appreciation carries over from the football field to the community. Fisher currently volunteers at the YMCA, an institution that supported him when he was young.

"I used to be a YMCA kid when I was growing up," he said. "So, working at the YMCA with those kids was one of the things that, when it was brought to my attention as an opportunity? I jumped on it immediately."

Growing up, Blake’s parents told him he needed something to keep him busy after school, and the YMCA was the perfect fit.

"It kind of gave me an environment as a kid where I could just be free, you know, play games with other kids and just get to have an enjoyable experience other than just sit in the house all day."

Blake started showing up at the after-school program, hanging out and playing with the kids.

“So the first time I walked in the Holy Cross School, like, all the kids are just, they just blew up and just, like, Oh, my God, oh, my God, you play football, all this. So, you know, just being able to, going through football and academics every day, and just getting away, and just being able to be around those kids. And knowing that you're a joy to them and they really appreciate me coming in and helping them, you know, talking to them, having different conversations with them, it just really brings a level of just calmness to me."

Just as his season-ending injury put a new perspective on the game of football, spending time with the kids at the YMCA gave Fisher a new perspective on life.

“You obviously, you see the fanbase out here on Saturdays, but, you know, being able to connect with some of the kids on a level that you don't really get to, it's just a phenomenal opportunity."

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