“When he tried to walk, [Nazair] Jones could not move. He screamed for his mother and sister to help him. Excruciating pain gripped his legs. They called an ambulance and he went to the hospital.”
That’s how ESPN’s Andrea Adelson began a profile of Jones last fall, writing about the affliction that nearly crippled the latest Seattle Seahawks draft pick as a teenager. After seeking medical attention for months, Jones ended up partly paralyzed by an extraordinary pain syndrome that caused swelling in his limbs and nearly everyone around him insisted he give up football.
But Jones insisted on getting his body into shape for both football and basketball by using mirrors and willpower to control his nerve condition, and eventually earned his scholarship to North Carolina. At UNC he was able to obtain special drugs to help manage the disease and eventually produced the performance that led him to NFL scouts radars and at last to an invitation to the Seahawks Friday. As Seattle fans are accustomed to expect, the tenacity and refusal to give in earns high marks from Seahawks coaches and front office. Hopefully his mental discipline and work ethic can translate onto the field for his new team.
“I try to live in the moment because it can be taken away from you at any point,” Jones told Adelson last year.