When most athletes sign a contract worth $53 million, the first place that money usually goes is towards a new expensive car, or a new flashy house. While nothing is wrong with spending money that way, seventh year Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph out of Oklahoma has his own style when it comes to spending part of the seven year, $53 million deal he signed last summer. A Hallendale, Florida native, the twenty nine year old Joseph has always been a man with on interest in helping others, so that is why he decide to focus on paying it forward, rather than spending it on himself.
A lot of Joseph’s time and money support his own foundation called Davin’s Dream Team Foundation. As stated on the foundation’s website, davinsdreamteam.org: “The primary mission of Davin’s Dream Team is to provide inner city schools and community-based clubs with the support they need to enhance their athletic and performing arts programs.” Joseph tries to stress three different virtues to kids in the program: health, education, and participation.
“Growing up in South Florida, I was first introduced to sports by Prince Pearson, a young head football coach,” Joseph said. “At the time, I didn’t realize the opportunities that I would have, the lessons I would learn, and the discipline that would become a part of me through sports. Athletics helped me become a better student, a leader among my peers, make good decisions, earn a college education, and prepare me for a career that allows me to support my family.”
Joseph may be a two-time Pro Bowler, and one of the highest paid guards in the league, but that does not stop him from connecting with the kids he meets, and being humbled by them.
“I have had the good fortune to meet many influential and inspiring people, but perhaps none have had more of an impact than the members of Davin’s Dream Team.”
In addition to his foundation, Joseph has also taken on a special project at Middleton High School in East Tampa. He is currently raising money and in the planning process for a renovated stadium at the school with a collegiate track, more bleachers, more room for concession vendors and a new scoreboard. He sees the venue hosting football and soccer games, as well as band competitions and community events, with the profits supporting the school’s athletic and performing arts programs. The hope is that the stadium will serve as a bright light in a community that sometimes is darkened by crime, poverty and hopelessness.
If all that wasn’t enough, Joseph prides himself in leading all NFL players in volunteers recruited for the United Way, an organization supported by the league. To date, he has recruited over 1,800 volunteers, which is truly remarkable considering everything else he does. What is even more impressive, however, is that Joseph is doing this while also being hard at work rehabbing from his serious, season-ending knee injury suffered in the preseason.
Davin Joseph is another refreshing example of an NFL player focused on giving back to his community, and a reminder that NFL players are not always the people that the media makes them out to be. Joseph, by his own admission, is just trying to be the best father that he can be to his children, claiming that his family is much more important than any football game. Buccaneer fans should be happy to have Joseph on their team, not only because he is an excellent football player, but an excellent person and member of their community.
By Ace Vetrano
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