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Many projected first-round draft picks are at the NFL draft spot hanging out in the green room waiting for their name to inevitably be called. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk across the stage and hug it out with commissioner Roger Goodell is something not to be passed up.
But not Najee Harris, the Steelers rookie running back selected No. 24 overall in the 2021 NFL draft. Instead, he spent the evening at a Bay Area homeless shelter where he once lived with his family.
Harris, his four siblings, and his parents spent several years at Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) during his childhood. He saw the big night as an opportunity to give back to the shelter that helped him as a youth and organized a draft party.
“I wanted to make sure that I could give back to the community and show them if y’all still need anything like I’m never too big or too whatever to help you guys out, I’m always going to be the helping hand,” Harris told KDKA, Pittsburgh.
There will have plenty more chances to give back to GRIP, as Harris’s rookie contract is projected to earn him $13 million, according to Spotrac.