The most recent Sports Illustrated shares the remarkable and emotional story of one of the captains of Army’s college basketball team and the two gay dads who raised him.

Maxwell Lenox, 22, is a senior at West Point. He may not be the star player for the Black Knights but he’s been voted captain two years running due to his exceptional leadership and the way he inspires his teammates.

“I’ll be lucky if I do half the stuff Max does, become half the leader he is,” states sophomore forward Tanner Omlid. “I want to be like him.”

Sports Illustrated made headlines last year with Jason Collins’ coming out cover, and has posted another transformative feature on basketball with Max’s history posted to their website, penned by S.L. Price.

It shows how much the world has changed since the 1990s when Max was born to a drug-addicted mother in Philadelphia. Just three days later, he was adopted by a couple from North Carolina who were eager to start a family: Dave Lenox and Nathan Merrell. Though they had reservations about the unknown challenges of raising a “crack-baby,” the bigger problems turned out to be with Merrell’s conservative family who was not too thrilled to find out all at once that he was gay, had a partner, and that they were grandparents to a black infant.

Merrell struggles to relate how his father denied that Max and a second black child (Erin) they had adopted were his grandchildren while his mother, for the first time in her 36-year marriage actually defied her husband.  “Well, they may not be yours,” Midge said, “but they’re mine.”

The whole story is filled with emotional moments like this as the couple faced many struggles raising Max, including Max’s difficulties in school and a serious injury that derailed a potential pro career. Given how Max has become such a leader, the two dads are thrilled at how things have turned out as there’s talk their son might make general someday. Read the full story at Sports Illustrated here: