Patriots' King supports youth football

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Oct. 27—When New England Patriots special teams player Brandon King walked into Dick's Sporting Goods in Dedham recently, he got a rousing cheer from the young Boston Raiders football players and their parents.

"They reacted like Tom Brady had just walked through the door," said NFL Player Agent Sean Stellato, who played high school football for coach Ken Perrone at Salem High and later at Marist College. "Brandon does a lot of work in the community and is never looking for fanfare. He does a lot of things quietly and has served Christmas dinner in Boston. The kids loved listening to him talk."

King helped make the night special for youngsters from the Boston Raiders earlier this month. He and Stellato attended the event, where a check for $11,000 dollars was presented by Dick's Sporting Goods to the Raiders, a Boston city football program out of Roxbury. It will cover the team's expenses for the year, including purchasing new equipment and uniforms, especially new helmets to help prevent concussions.

King autographed items for the 11- and 12-year-old kids and took pictures with them. He also spoke words of encouragement and the importance of staying out of trouble.

"My background is similar to many of these kids," said King. "I come from a small area where it's hard to get a lot of things down. It's been so difficult to go out into the community and show support for them, especially during Covid-19, but I'm happy to do what I can. Their story resonates with me. I do understand how hard it is for teams like the Raiders to keep it going financially."

King has been an SES client for the past five years. He's an invaluable member of the Patriots' special teams unit because he can play every position.

Born in Jamaica and growing up in Alabama, King attended community college before transferring to Auburn for his junior and senior years. He was undrafted before signing with the Indianapolis Colts. Later he joined the Patriots and has been part of their last two Super Bowl championship squads.

"His road to the NFL was not an easy one, and he recognizes the importance of giving back to the community, especially to young athletes," said Stellato.

"Brandon is in the last year of his contract, and we're hoping he'll remain with the Patriots because it's a good fit for him," he added. "Bill Belichick stresses the importance of special teams."

King wound up spending more time at the event than he originally planned. He enjoyed talking with the kids and signing autographs.

"I was willing to stay, but even if I tried to leave I don't think they would have let me go," he laughed.

"I started playing youth football when I was five, and it saved me. I can remember seeing the 10-year old kids that played run by us, and all our faces would light up. They were heroes to us. I try to tell them you have to work hard and be determined no matter what. Some will make it far football-wise, but what's more important are the lessons learned from playing the sport.

"I didn't get a scholarship coming out of high school and had to go to community college, take out a lot of financial aid, and work very hard to get to where I am now. I have a different perspective on life than some others in the NFL, who had scholarships got drafted."

King is grateful for all that football has done for him, and recognizes the need for programs like the Raiders to keep kids safe and out of trouble.

Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN.

Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN

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