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Story Behind the Picture: Shamar Graves

Shamar Graves

There are people you meet in life and you know that no matter how long they walk with you, they are going to make an impact. There are also people in you meet in life that no matter how far distance makes you from each other, they are from you they are still going to be considered family. In the 2012 season the Jacksonville Sharks signed wide receiver Shamar Graves. Throughout the season Graves continued to make an impact on the receiving corps and with the fans of the Sharks. By the end of the Sharks playoff run Graves was in the top 5 of receivers on the team. Trying to make a name for himself on a team filled with big name receivers like Terrance Smith and Jeron Harvey, Graves truly made the most of his rookie season after playing football at Rutgers University. For the 2013 season Graves is playing with the Pittsburgh Power.

Outside of impressive stats for the Sharks, Graves was a fan favorite. Before and after every game the young football star would be out on the field signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. Graves was and still is making the most of his football career, knowing that the window of opportunity to impact people in this way is small.

At the time this picture was taken, Graves was injured and couldn't dress, but he always made a point to be at the games and continue to greet fans. By this time in the season I had gotten pretty close to about five of the new players and one of those players was Graves. Because of the perks that come with having a staff pass, I was able to sneak behind the tables where the team signed autographs to snap this picture.

After the picture was taken one of the girls from the Shark Attack Dance Team started giggling. Little did I know she has photobombed the picture I had just snapped. From then on Lindsey and I would be known as photobomb buddies and we would have a contest each week to see how many pictures we could photobomb of the other person.

Though this picture doesn't have an elaborate story like others that take up space on Facebook, it does mean a lot to me. Remember earlier how I said there were people you meet that just change your life? Well for me that was Shamar Graves. There is always something about someone who realizes they are second. Before every game Graves could be found at the endzone line praying. Though many athletes pray before games and live a totally different lifestyle, Graves does just the opposite. The player you see praying and bringing glory to Christ before the game is the same guy bringing glory to Christ in every aspect of his life.

What a blessing in my life this man has been! Though we don't talk much anymore, I know he is making a huge impact for the kingdom of Christ through football, along with his other endeavors. There are always days I wish Graves still played for the Sharks but I know God has a much better way to use this man.

If you ever run into Shamar Graves on the street, or have the opportunity to have him playing for your favorite football team, know that he will change your life.