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Beating The Odds

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Once in a while a story comes along that reignites your faith in the human spirit. Such a story has recently been shared about two identical twin brothers from St. Petersburg, Florida, Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin. Both are strong, toned, successful athletes who proudly wore the football jerseys of their Florida high school, one of them playing as a safety and the other as a corner. They both run lightning fast and compete successfully in track. They stand 6’1” tall and typically weigh in at 195. They would be almost impossible to tell apart except for one thing, one of them is missing a hand. A serious blood flow complication while their mom was pregnant with the twins lead to one of them being born with a withered and useless left hand. That hand had to be surgically removed when Shaquem was four years of age due to intense pain. What happened after that was amazing. Instead of settling for a prognosis of very limited physical activity for this young man the family charged full speed ahead to train and develop young Shaquem right along with his carbon copy brother. What resulted was a senior year in which Shaquem accrued 67 tackles along with two interceptions. This would be a tremendous accomplishment for somebody with two good hands. His brother Shaquill was equally as skilled in his performance on the field. They earned the title of Tampa Bay Track and Field Athlete of the Year. They shared this honor as they have shared nearly everything else in life. Now that their high school days are behind them and colleges are scouting, nothing has changed in their desire to stay by each others side. Several of the “big” schools had expressed interest in Shaquill only but this loyal brother rejected such interest and expressed his desire to consider only the schools that wanted the whole package, two brothers who have been mentally and emotionally joined at the hip since birth. They chose to run for Central Florida which is close to their hometown and whose coach expressed a lot of enthusiasm and confidence in their abilities. It’s going to be exciting to watch these two gifted athletes compete side by side in the future just as they have always done in the past.