Watch Shamar go BEAST MODE in the video below.
Shamar Graves fell in love with competition at age 9. He currently plays for the Jacksonville Sharks (Arena Football League), and previously for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (06-09).
Athletes often dream of the big stage. That particular moment where they stare adversity, a challenge, or a high stakes scenario in the eye and simply deliver. It’s called, “the moment” and mine was two-years ago.
It was my rookie season and I was apart of a solid Jacksonville Sharks receiving corps. I knew I had a lot to prove and didn’t have much time to prove it. I made sure that I made the most of every time I got to step on the field. Playing time was little-to-none but watching the Veterans in front of me was great in itself. But like any competitor, I wanted my time to shine. I patiently and systematically battled teammates during practice, finally Head Coach Les Moss decided to dress me for the May 11th showdown.
Remember those components of “the moment?” Well, they stacked up perfectly! My 25th birthday was the day of the game and we traveled near my home state of New Jersey to face the Philadelphia Soul, a top team in the Arena Football League. OK! Now all I needed was 75 tickets for family and friends and I was not even starting.
As any athlete knows not starting a game doesn’t mean you can relax. Sure enough, starter Jeron Harvey and his backup Bobby Sewall went down with injuries. Guess who enthusiastically jumps over the wall to check in? Yes, indeed. Yours truly, number 18, Shamar Graves. I scored on a 45-yard catch and run and I followed it with a few more catches and big plays. None bigger than my final highlight. I ran a simple hitch, but what came after the catch is what I believe defines me as both a player and person. I broke through six defenders (out of eight) en route to the end zone.
Persistence, strength, passion, and WILL are words to best define that run. All I could think of was to not go down; plus the Philly fan who pissed me off during the prior kick off by taunting directly at me. But as you can see, that play will be a play I’ll remember forever.