Aaron Curry is heralded as one of the most complete players in this month’s upcoming draft.
The former Wake Forest linebacker very well may be one of the most complete persons as well.
The 6-foot-2, 254 pound Curry visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. earlier this month and met with 12-year-old Bryson Merriweather, who is at the hospital battling leukemia.
Following two years and five rounds of chemotherapy, Merriweather is in remission.
A youth football player, Merriweather received a big surprise from Curry during the visit. The projected third overall pick asked Merriweather if he would join him in New York for the 2009 NFL draft. As every 12-year-old would, Merriweather jumped on this unique offer. Merriweather will sit at Curry’s table alongside the top prospect’s family and friends. It will be the first time Merriweather, who lives in Madison, Ala., will visit the Big Apple.
In an era where player conduct is viewed about as important as statistics, Curry has shown NFL teams that he is more than just the most physically well-rounded outside linebacker the draft has seen in a while. He has shown a level-headedness capable of leading an NFL locker room.
The hospital visit, set up by Curry’s agent Andy Ross, is a story that transcends sports. Curry is a week away from being one of the first ten players selected in the draft and cashing in on a huge contract, yet he still connects with people who are less fortunate than himself.
Curry’s altruistic awareness demonstrates that he is more than just a football player. He sees an opportunity to use his burgeoning talent and career to make the world a better place, which is something athletes in his situation seem to forget at times. It is easy to get caught up in the bright lights of New York City and the monetary figures that will be thrown around following the draft, but Curry has proved he is able to keep life in perspective. He is privileged to be in this situation and he certainly won’t let distractions of an NFL lifestyle stop him from fulfilling his potential.
Curry is sure to be a fan favorite for years to come.