Well, this is altogether amazing story. But first, watch this interception made by Florida high schooler Shaquem Griffin.
Shaquem has no left hand. He was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome and had the hand removed when he was 4-years-old. Despite this setback, both he and his twin brother Shaquill were offered football scholarships from at least 14 different schools. They decided on the University of Central Florida.
The odds of playing any sport at its highest level are low enough, but once in a while an athlete comes along that reaches those heights even despite what many would consider certain physical limitations. Remember Jim Abbott?
Abbott was a left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher from 1989 to 1999, taking the mound for the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, California Angels and Milwaukee Brewers. Oh, and he didn’t have a right hand.
Then there’s South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius. The man known as “Blade Runner,” thanks to the space-age carbon blades that occupy the space where most of us have legs, became the first amputee to ever compete at the Olympics last summer in London.
We hear and read so much in sports about the drugs, the money, the cheating, blahblahblah—its a story like Griffin’s that remind us of all the reasons we love sports in the first place.
USA Football director Garrett Shea said, ”Shaquem Griffin is one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever heard in football. For the young man to overcome such a physical challenge to play at this level speaks not only of who he is but his brother as well. … To see and hear how they interact with one another and act as such a support system, it’s just great for all of us to be around.”
Seriously, go watch that catch again.