Ihedigbo's remarkable journey

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
8:30
AM ET
In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, frequent contributor Marty Dobrow writes on safety James Ihedigbo and his remarkable journey to his moment.

Dobrow's piece captures Ihedigbo's early years in Amherst, Mass., where his parents had moved after coming to America from Nigeria.
James wanted to please his family. He saw them scrapping and clawing. On weekends, he would join his parents and four siblings trolling the UMass campus, picking up recyclable cans that were tossed blithely away after Friday night parties and Saturday football games. The Ihedigbos would cart them home, wash them out, and bring them to Stop & Shop for redemption. James saw his father, a man who seemed larger than life, working all kinds of jobs with his eyes on the prize. Apollos was a janitor in the campus center. He delivered pizza for Antonio's. He was an ordained minister. He was an assistant director at UMass for a program that focused on the education of students of color. Work, work, work for the common good. How would a game as violent as football fit into that?

Turns out it has been a perfect fit for the Ihedigbo family. To read Dobrow's piece, CLICK HERE.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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