Portland native Owa Odighizuwa talks giving back and life in the - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland native Owa Odighizuwa talks giving back and life in the NFL

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Now in his offseason from the NFL after the Packers ousted his Giants in the Wild Card round, Owa Odighizuwa was back at his Alma mater of David Douglas High School on Friday night.

The second-year defensive end for New York was on hand before the Royal Scots varsity boys basketball game to introduce this years' Scot’s angels, fresh off surgery on his right thumb.

“Anytime I come back here, it’s just a great time,” he said. “It reminds me of my roots, humble beginnings."

Humble would be the people involved with the Scot's Angels club at David Douglas High. Now in its tenth year, they have raised more than $50,000 for kids and families in medical crisis.

Menlo Park fifth-grader Brody Miller has undergone nine brain surgeries in three years, and Mill Park third-grader Adrian Ramirez Herrera is battling leukemia. Both have benefited from Odighizuwa’s work, and both are examples of strength.

"It's kind of fun and kind of cool at the same time," Brody said. "I am not nervous. It's just like being in the hospital with everyone knowing me. I've had nine brain surgeries, five skin surgeries and 20 angiograms, so after a while, you are just like, meh.”

Odighizuwa says the opportunity to give back is what it is all about for him.

"Anytime I get to give back and send a positive message, it's always good to me because going to high school here I've experienced that myself,” he said. “From the teachers, the staff, the coaches, everybody here. I feel like they gave back to me. Helped me in my journey get back to where I am now trying to pay it forward is big time for me."

Life in New York can be a rat race, and Odighizuwa is back in his comfort zone, in his mom's house in Vancouver, for the off-season.

“It always keeps me grounded, reminds me of where I came from and I really like it," he said. “She pretty makes sure everything is clean. She knows when I am coming home. She knows what type of food I like and she tries to get it all ready."

While momma Odighizuwa keeps her baby in line, there has been one NFL opponent that had him in awe on while on the defensive line.

“Lining up, getting in your stance and you see Tom Brady, you're like, ‘Man, this dude was playing when I was in like elementary school,’” he said. “It was really, really cool so I would say that was one of those moments.”

Odighizuwa’s younger brother Osa just finished up his redshirt season at UCLA. Owa also played for the Bruins.

To learn more about Scot’s Angels, including how to donate, head to ScotsAngels.com.

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