Young cancer survivor gets his wish at NFL draft 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
Lexile

T.J. Owuanibe got his wish when the 14-year-old shared center stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to announce the Baltimore Ravens' top draft pick.
 
The eighth grader at McDonogh School in Baltimore 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 when the Ravens - his favorite team - made their first-round selection.
 
And so, when Baltimore decided to take Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th overall pick, Owuanibe jumped into action to help complete the process.
 
Wearing a gray suit, a bowtie, a light blue shirt and a very serious expression, Owuanibe nervously stood next to Goodell, who shared the youth's background with a national audience.
 
Owuanibe stood stoically until Goodell said, "He loves the Ravens."
 
An instant after that, Goodell stepped aside and let Owuanibe move behind the microphone, which was too high so Goodell made an adjustment to it. Owuanibe pumped his fist and told football fans around the world who the Ravens picked at No. 16.
 
Owuanibe loved the Ravens long before he was diagnosed with cancer and in recent years, the teenager met with the coaching staff and several players at training camp through another nonprofit organization, the Casey Cares Foundation.
 
Thus, when his wish was presented to the Ravens front office, the team happily complied, and coach John Harbaugh informed T.J. that his wish has been granted.
 
T.J.'s cancer is now in remission.

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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


COMMENTS (8)
  • basilek-pla
    5/09/2017 - 11:06 a.m.

    This is a story about a 14 year old cancer survivor who loves the Baltimore Ravens. T.J. Owuanibe was diagnosed with brain cancer in sixth grade. Through the Casey Cares Foundation, he was able to meet the players and coaching staff of the Ravens, and through Make-A-Wish, he was able to announce the Ravens' first draft pick in the 2017 draft. This connects to civic engagement because it shows how a couple of nonprofits with committed employees can succeed in changing the life of a young struggling kid. It was also nice to know that T.J's cancer is in remission.

  • jareds-cel
    5/10/2017 - 10:18 a.m.

    T.J's dream was to be apart of the NFL draft in a different shape and form. He wanted to speak in front of everybody who was about to receive news on where they were about to start their professional football career. T.J was excited yet nervous about this opportunity knowing the amount of people would be watching him not only at the event but at home on their televisions.

  • johannaw-cel
    5/10/2017 - 10:40 a.m.

    T.J. Owuanibe is a 14 year old boy that was diagnoses with brain cancer two years ago. He told Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic that he wants to join Goodell at the podium in Philadelphia when his favorite team, the Ravens made their first-round selection. He got his wish come true and was on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In my opinion this is really touching and I think Make-A-Wish-Mid-Atlantic is a really good organization that makes wishes come true.

  • cassidyk-pla
    5/10/2017 - 10:59 a.m.

    This article talked about a boy who was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago. He had a wish to announce the first round draft pick for his favorite team, the Ravens, and the NFL decided to help make it happen. This year at the 2017 NFL draft he got to announce the Raven's first draft pick and that article said he was thrilled. I usually watch the draft so this was interesting for me to know the background on this story. I think this is a way the NFL remains civilly engaged through helping a kid with cancer achieve his dream.

  • monicas-ste
    5/10/2017 - 01:19 p.m.

    That's really nice that they did that. I bet he really appreciated being apart of that. I bet he was beyond happy.

  • avad-pla
    5/11/2017 - 03:49 p.m.

    T.J. Owuanibe, a 14 year old cancer survivor was granted his wish of announcing the Ravens’ first-round draft selection. He joined the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to announce that the team chose Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Owuanibe, an eighth grader from Baltimore, was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago, and is now in remission. The Ravens’ involvement in this situation is very civically engaged because they granted a unique opportunity to someone who is in an unfavorable situation. Owuanibe’s participation is something he will cherish for the rest of of his life, making a lasting memory with very little involvement from the team.

  • jahir-orv
    5/12/2017 - 02:24 p.m.

    To me this story is beautiful and should motivate you adults to be successful. a kid fought through cancer and still achieved his goal. Very powerful.

  • kaileew-ste
    5/18/2017 - 02:08 p.m.

    A 14 year old cancer survivor had his dreams become reality. He got to help announce the Ravens first draft pick. This is a really cute story.

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