‘State B Baby’ returns to tournament 17 years later, shares inspiring message

SPOKANE, Wash.– Every second counts on the court. Mere moments can mean the difference between playing at state and sitting in the stands.

Pateros High School Senior Ethan Wall and his mom Kristin Wall know that.

“We always had these dreams he’d end up playing over here, but they missed it by six points this year,” Kristin said.

But, Ethan was still at the Spokane State B Tournament to cheer on his school’s rival team Friday. He knows that showing up for people matters. He learned that lesson the hard way.

“Back in 2018, I was super sick and none of my friends reached out to me. No one texted me,” Ethan said.

Kristin said her son was in bed for weeks. He even missed playing at the regional tournament. All of that combined with no contact from his friends was so hard to face. Kristin knew he had dear friends and teammates, but they weren’t thinking beyond themselves.

“I know they’re just sweet boys who just literally aren’t taking the time to reach out to him,” Kristin said.

It’s been two years since that experience, which taught the Wall family so much. It had such an impact that it inspired them to start a nonprofit.

ONLY 7 SECONDS PEOPLEOnly7Seconds is a positive mindset movement challenging people to take a few minutes and send a message to someone they haven’t talked to in a while, according to Kristin. It’s something Ethan wished people had done for him when he was sick. He knows others have probably felt the same sadness he has.

“Everyone’s felt alone or isolated and everyone can relate to this cause,” Ethan said.

The message is spreading to schools across the Northwest and to some coffee shops that rep the brand on their cups once a month. It’s a simple idea with a complex impact.

“It’s really that easy to just say hey, how are you doing, to check in on somebody instead of using your phone to check out and just escape from the world,” Ethan said.

It seemed fitting that Ethan share that message at the State B Tournament because that’s the place his life started. State B Baby in his mother's arms

Ethan’s parents were visiting Spokane for the tournament in 2003 when Kristin went into labor. The Hall family did a story with 4 News Now just hours after Ethan was born.

In an interview from her hospital bed, Kristin remarked on what a memorable moment this would be for her family for years to come.

“He’ll never, ever, ever forget. I mean, it’ll be a special event for him every year when we come back over,” Kristin said.

Kristin was right about that. Her son proved that 17 years after his birth.

“It’s kind of a return to home since I was born over here,” Ethan said.

Six points and just seconds of play stood in the way of Ethan competing at state. But he’s come to realize those seconds can really count off the court, too.

“If [Only7Seconds] could help one person that was in the situation I was in, it’s worth it,” Ethan said.


State basketball tournaments continue as planned during COVID-19 outbreak

Why teen depression rates are rising faster for girls than boys

Smartphones: the new teen mental health crisis?