NFL Stars Shine in Hudson For Rashad Barksdale Charity Event [VIDEO]
Former Hudson High and UAlbany football star, Rashad Barksdale, saw his dreams come true when he made it to the NFL. Despite playing in front of 50,000 fans at once as a Kansas City Chief, Rashad has never forgotten where he came from. This past Friday, he put on a show once again in that tiny Hudson High gym when he and a few NFL stars rolled into town for a charity basketball game.
Growing up ten minutes away from Hudson and seeing my alma mater battle his out each year, ol' Monte couldn't help but to feel excited to see Rashad Barksdale come back to Hudson last Friday night. Rivalries aside, when you hail from a small community such as ours, you feel nothing but pride for a man putting your town on the map. Rashad has not once forgotten his hometown and to show it, he hosted a charity basketball game to raise money for his "It's OK to Dream" foundation.
The foundation helps to provide scholarships for Hudson High students entering their first year of college as well as various youth organizations. For just $5, kids from Albany on down to Hudson packed that tiny gym to see Rashad a few of his NFL pals put on a show for the ages.
Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and Dion Lewis both of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Baltimore Raven's Bernard Pollard each joined Rashad with a team of local athletes such as Rashad's high school hero, Leroy Collins. The NFL's best spent time chatting with kids, taking countless photos and signing autographs all night. Pollard, "The Patriot Killer", even took the time to send a special message to our own Rob Dawes who is a notorious Pats fan.
BJ took the sweet shots of the game that you can check out below. As an Eagles fan, he was loving sitting on the same bench as Rodgers-Cromartie! - sort of. With a few ankle breaking moves, a few three point shots from places I can't even see the rim and speed that would seem unimaginable, the NFL stars made our jaws drop a few times as the "away" team consisting of Pollard, Cromartie and Lewis put up 60 points at the half. There, at the half, was when we saw something I didn't think I would ever see in person: A dunk from the free trow line - from a high school kid.
During half time, Rashad held a slam dunk contest. Thinking "ok, small gym, local kids, what can these guys really do to impress me when I'm watching Cromartie get his entire arm above the rim during the game?" That's when BJ and I saw Taconic Hills High Senior, Jordan Hoose do his best impression of his namesake.
If you look closely at the end of the Jordan Dunk, you can see BJ and I walk away with nothing but a stunned look on our faces.
Thanks to Rashad, the NFL stars, local players and all of you that packed the Hudson High gym on Friday. If you want to get at Rashad, you can follow him on his twitter account. What was more impressive to you? NFL stars putting on a local show - or seeing a kid dunk like that!?