While we hear all about so many football players in south Florida – with the great things they accomplish – there are so many that we never get a chance to learn about.
In a world where the focus is always on those high star athletes, the human interest stories seem to get lost in the shuffle.
In south Florida, there are so many stories that really are newsworthy. From coaches who continue to get an amazing number of athletes into college – to athletes and coaches who overcome adversity and prevail in the end, there is an endless amount of feel good things to go around.
Attending as many games and practices as possible, you tend to pick up some great things – and while all these bits of information doesn’t always come with a major college or NFL ending, they definitely show the human spirit.
PLAYER: Heaven Bradley
SCHOOL: Miami Springs
SCOUTING: Last year after watching Miami Springs open the season against Miami High at Curtis Park, there were a number of gifted football players on display. By the end of the game, it was Bradley who stole the show.
Not only did this amazing football talent turn heads with his play, but he did it in a manner that nobody else even knew about.
You see, while the Golden Hawks were losing the game to the Stingarees, there was a bright spot so impressive that it was an amazing story – on the opening night of the 2019 season.
Bradley, who played defensive end for the Miami Springs, was easily one of the top players on the field on this night – and he did it all — with just one normal hand.
Since birth, Bradley has had to deal with something called Syndactyly, a condition where two or more fingers are fused together.
He had accomplished everything on the football field from little league to the varsity level in high school with the use of one hand.
As he told Bill Daley of the Miami Herald last year: “when I was born, my left hand was all clumped up with webbed fingers. Doctors performed several surgical procedures, taking some skin from my toes and other parts of my body to at least create some kind of separation, but the fingers themselves were still left severely deformed and crooked.
Bradley’s condition is one that Shaquem Griffin, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, knows all too well.
Griffin eventually had surgery removing the fingers, forming a nub which he has never allowed to slow down his remarkable football career, one that went from high school in St. Petersburg to college at the University of Central Florida to today with the Seahawks in the NFL.
Bradley also holds down a 3.5 grade point average in the classroom.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MIAMI HERALD
FOR MORE SOUTH FLORIDA PLAYER SPOTLIGHTS: https://larryblustein.com/spotlights/miami-dade-broward-counties-continue-to-churn-out-top-flight-football-talent