T.J. Owuanibe, 14, announces the Baltimore Ravens' selection during the first round of the 2017 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez/AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Young cancer survivor gets his wish at NFL draft
May 08, 2017
T.J. Owuanibe got his wish.
The 14-year-old shared center stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He announced the Baltimore Ravens' top draft pick.
The eighth grader attends McDonogh School in Baltimore. He was diagnosed two years ago with brain cancer. He recently told Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic that he longed to join Goodell at the podium in Philadelphia. That's when the Ravens made their first-round selection. The Ravens are his favorite team.
Baltimore decided to take Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th overall pick. Owuanibe jumped into action to help complete the process.
He wore a gray suit, a bowtie, a light blue shirt and a very serious expression. Owuanibe nervously stood next to Goodell. The commissioner then shared the youth's background with a national audience.
Owuanibe stood stoically until Goodell said, "He loves the Ravens."
And then the boy finally smiled.
An instant after that, Goodell stepped aside. He let Owuanibe move behind the microphone. But it was too high. Goodell made an adjustment to the microphone. Then Owuanibe pumped his fist and told football fans who the Ravens picked at No. 16.
Owuanibe loved the Ravens long before he was diagnosed with cancer. In recent years, the teenager met with the coaching staff and several players at training camp. That happened through another nonprofit organization. It is the Casey Cares Foundation.
When his wish was presented to the Ravens front office, the team happily complied. Coach John Harbaugh informed T.J. that his wish has been granted.
T.J.'s cancer is in remission.
Assigned 102 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What context clues give insight into how T.J. was feeling to be part of the NFL Draft?
Write your answers in the comments section below