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Former NFL player Ricardo Lockette speaks to students in Calhoun Co.

Video from WALB
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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EDISON, Ga. (WALB) - On Friday, Super Bowl Champion Ricardo Lockette made his return to southwest Georgia.

He was the guest speaker in an event that celebrated young student-athletes in Calhoun County.

Principal of Calhoun County Middle-High School, Erika Green, said having both students and their parents involved in the celebration was perfect.

“Being in a rural area where everything is so spread out, it’s a little bit of a task to get parents to come back in the evening. So why not have it during the school day. It’s a little more convenient,” Green said.

On Friday, they decided to combine their athletic banquet with an outdoor barbecue with the theme of a luau. Parents in attendance got to see the results of their children’s hard work throughout the year. Lakisha Hart says Lockette’s message was important for everyone in attendance, especially for her daughter.

Calhoun County Middle High School says they plan to work with Lockette in the near future.
Calhoun County Middle High School says they plan to work with Lockette in the near future.(WALB)

”I’m just hoping that she will be even better next year and get the MVP award,” Hart said.

Lockette preached the importance of resilience.

“The whole purpose for me being here is to look you guys in the face, look you in the eyes. I’m not the type of guy to write a speech and say do your homework and listen to your parents. I’m telling you what it takes to be successful,” he said.

He said that in the school’s gym where the next generation of student-athletes sat, something he said he wants to support. Lockett says he plans to continue his presence in Calhoun County by starting up youth basketball camps.

The event was held to celebrate the accomplishments of Cougar student-athletes.
The event was held to celebrate the accomplishments of Cougar student-athletes.(WALB)

“I don’t want to be the only guy riding around town in a car. I don’t want to come to Albany and be the only guy paying for the food.”

Lockette said that during his career, he wasn’t the smartest or fastest. It was his mindset that set him apart.

“If you get a good support system around you. If all of your friends are playing the sport, trying to go in the same direction, we’re not going to jeopardize where we’re trying to go,” he said.

At the event, he says he wore his last game-worn jersey. During that game in 2015, he suffered a tragic injury that effectively ended his time in the NFL. He says he wore the jersey as a symbol of him moving past his NFL days.

“Deciding how to live life, deciding how to be productive, deciding how to be productive in a different field,” he said.

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