Many of you may be wondering what NFL players are doing while they are currently “locked out”. The answer to that question is; A LOT!! Just because things don’t look the greatest from a football standpoint doesn’t mean that there isn’t other things going on in the life of these players. It’s very important for everyone to understand that professional athletes have lives OUTSIDE the sport in which they play, and they are involved in many other things as well. This past weekend, I attended a charity event that was a whole weekend filled of successful festivities.
How many of you have heard of Domenik Hixon? If you haven’t, you obviously will after reading this story. Domenik Hixon is a Return Specialist/WR for the New York Giants in the NFL. He was also a part of the Super Bowl XLII Championship team in 2007. That’s not the point, my point is; he is the individual that hosted the weekend full of charity events for kids this past week. Domenik graduated from Whitehall-Yearling High School in Whitehall, Ohio and then went on to The University of Akron where he played his college career. He was drafted in 2006 by the Denver Broncos and then was signed by the Giants in 2007. For the past 5 years, he has gone back to his HS Alma Mater and held football camps and other charity evnts to give back to the kids and community where he grew up. I asked Domenik why he does this and what’s his reasoning behind it, and he stated, “When I was younger, I liked attending camps and things, and I think this is a great opportunity for the kids to meet people who are living out their dreams and have the chance to interact with and ask these players questions about what they did to make it out of where they came from… It’s very important to me to give back to my community and it means a lot to them as well. If I can give them motivation to do what they dream of doing, I’m all for it!”
Domenik and former high school teammate Anthony Jordan started The Next Level Football & Cheer Camp five years ago; originally with the commitment to positively influence the youth in their community and beyond, it has now expanded to a level beyond what many probably imagined. Here is the itinerary from this past weekend. There was the opening cookout and softball game on Thursday which was a bunch of fun. The Mayor of Whitehall, Ohio was in attendance and even the pitcher for our softball team, along with a number of local police officers playing, NFL players, and last but not least, the communities of Whitehall and Columbus. On Friday, there was the Next Level Basketball Camp for kids of all ages which was held at Whitehall-Yearling High School and following the camp there was a celebrity all-star basketball game for the campers and local community to watch and get pictures/autographs afterwards. Following the game, there was a dinner and silent auction at a local restaurant where anyone was able to bid on autographed Domenik Hixon and other NY Giants memorabilia, and other valuable items. The next morning (Saturday) was the Next Level Football & Cheer Camp. The football camp was for children of all ages and was an all day event. There were over 200 kids in attendance for the whole event! The numbers are good and great, but if you ask me, the most important thing that I observed throughout the whole weekend was; SMILES! Everyone was extremely happy; young and old. The kids, parents, community, and NFL players were nothing but smiles. Lives were definitely touched this past weekend in Columbus, OH.
I’m sure you’re wondering what other NFL players were in attendance at the camp, here they are: Ramses Barden (NY Giants), Chase Blackburn (NY Giants, Super Bowl XLII Champion), Lance Moore (New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl XLV Champion), DeAngelo Smith (Cleveland Browns), Brian Rolle (Philadelphia Eagles) and a number of other professional athletes as well! Despite the NFL lockout, there are players out there doing very good things in their communities and I feel that they should be recognized. People are quick to point out the mistakes and negative things they see in professional athletes but always seem to overlook the good and positive things in which these athletes do and it’s not right! So there you have it, NFL Players are still doing things, positive things at that, while this lockout continues. I had the pleasure to meet, and be around all these guys and I’ll tell you; their ALL great people! Make sure you stay on the lookout for each and every one of them!
I truly encourage you to take a closer look at Domenik Hixon. For additional info on him, please visit his official website! GoGetm87.com