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Harris threw draft party at Richmond homeless shelter originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Bay Area native Najee Harris might just be the best story in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The former Antioch High School star turned two-time national champion at Alabama was the No. 24 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night. But before the running back heard his name called, he went back to his roots.
Harris returned to the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program homeless shelter in Richmond, which served as his home for many years growing up. Along with his parents and four older siblings, Harris lived in a small room at the shelter in 2010 as his family struggled with homelessness. So, he sponsored a NFL draft party for the kids living there.
"It was really emotional for my mom," Harris said to KRON 4's Kylen Mills. "Almost as if she was crying in a way. We have a lot of memories here. That was a time in our life when we were really low at a point. It brought back a lot of memories of what we was going through at the time, for me too.
"When I walked up over there where I used to play, it brought back a lot of memories. ... It was an emotional thing for us. Just doing this really makes me and my family feel a lot more better and just giving appreciation and everything."
The draft party had pizza, chicken, football-themed decorations, cupcakes, and goodie bags for all. Harris made sure to spend time with a number of people there, taking pictures with families and workers.
Harris, who was born in Martinez, told Mills he moved eight to 10 times before graduating from Antioch High School, where he starred for three years as a top recruit.
The newest Steeler is an inspiration for many in the Bay Area, and is sure to be one in the Steel City as well.