Arizona Cardinals: Rookie showing hometown the right path
Arizona Cardinals rookie Haason Reddick was back in his hometown over the weekend, running a camp for kids in need of direction
Haason Reddick of the Arizona Cardinals surely knows his alma mater’s fight song. There’s a line in Temple University’s anthem that bellows “Fight, fight, fight, for the cherry and the white”. But for the Cardinals’ rookie, life in his hometown of Camden, New Jersey is anything but a “bowl of cherries”.
This past Saturday, two days after teammate David Johnson had wrapped up a football camp for kids, Reddick was running one of his own. The Cards’ inside linebacker teamed with the Camden Health and Athletic Association (CHAA) for a great cause. A football camp designed to teach the area’s youth (ages 5 to 17) the ins and outs of the game.
Such an event is a great thing for a city like Camden. The town, a stone’s throw away from downtown Philadelphia, is unfortunately known for something horrible. Reddick resides from a place that annually has a high murder rate, easily one of the most dangerous areas of the United States to live in.
Besides what Reddick showed the camp attendees on the field, his message to the starry-eyed kids before the drills began was even more important. The message to the campers was to stay in school, work hard and good things will happen. The climb he made in the months leading up to the draft alone would give hope to the youngsters.
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Just weeks before being Arizona’s top selection of 2017, the former college defensive end was projected to be a day-two pick. But his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl dramatically changed his fortunes. Suddenly Reddick was being given first-round consideration, ultimately falling into the Cardinals’ lap at #13 overall.
Reddick is already showing appreciation for what has come his way. General manager Steve Keim and his cohorts have done an outstanding job of filling the Arizona locker room with players of strong character. He is just the latest.
The children of Camden need to be shown the way. Seeing and hearing from someone like Reddick, a man that grew up among them and defied the odds, gives them hope.
Hope that they too can escape from the violence surrounding them and make their own mark in the world. The Cardinals Reddick has certainly shown that it can be done.