Most Dallas Stars fans, and most North American hockey fans, probably had never heard of Radek Faksa prior to the Stars selecting him with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. Even still, many casual hockey fans still probably haven't heard much, if anything, about him, other than the fact that he was Dallas' first round selection in the 2012 draft, and that he's from the Czech Republic.
There is, however, much more to know about Faksa besides the fact that he's a hockey player.
If you missed TSN's feature video on Faksa, you're doing yourself a disservice.
Faksa's story is incredible. Faksa is from Opava, a poor city in the Czech Republic not far from the Polish border. Like many in the area, Faksa had a tough upbringing -- made even more difficult by the fact that his parents divorced.
Growing up, Faksa just wanted to be a hockey player, and he would never get the proper chance while living in Opava. Faksa received an offer from a team in Trinic -- they would take Faksa on the team, provide a 9x9 dorm room for him, two meals a day, and ensure that his grades wouldn't slip.
The catch? Faksa was just 11 years old when he received this offer.
Radek and his mother had a tough decision to make, and perhaps the toughest of their lives. Ultimately, they let the 11 year old Radek Faksa head to Trinec to pursue his dream of playing hockey.
Just think about being an 11 year old and living on your own. For six years. Sure, Faksa's mother would visit often, and call on the phone daily. But just think back to when you were eleven, and wanted a snack, help with homework, to stay home from school or to do your laundry. Who would help? Most likely, your mother or father, or whoever was raising you.
Not Faksa, though. He raised himself through his pre-teen and teenage years.
For Stars fans, they have a player to really, really root for, as he looks to make his, and his mother's, sacrifice all worth it. Even for non-Stars fans, it's a story you simply can't ignore, and one that seems more fit for a movie than reality.
It looks like the Faksa family made the right decision for Radek. Here's hoping it won't be long before he's with the Stars.