Seahawks Legend Ricardo Lockette, who retired from the NFL this past offseason after suffering a serious neck injury in Seattle's win over the Dallas Cowboys last November, spoke at the 2016 GeekWire Summit this past week about the power of grit and determination.
"I think every day we wake up, we have an opportunity to do something," Lockette said in a nearly 25-minute talk with GeekWire.com's Taylor Soper, which you can find embedded above. "Obviously, everyone in here realizes that. If there's anything you can take from this and take from me, don't ever give up on your dreams, because there's someone older, younger, next door that's watching you, and they are going to reap the benefits from what we do in this room."
Lockette, who spent four seasons with the Seahawks after originally signing with the team as an undrafted rookie out of Fort Valley State, told those gathered at his retirement press conference in May that he while he didn't quite know what his next step beyond football would be, he would dedicate his time to helping those in need. That promise has led Lockette to connect with the Seattle Science Foundation, an organization he is working closely with to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries.
"We want to raise awareness that there's actually 17,000 spinal cord injuries that happen every year," Lockette said. "Our plan is to do, actually, the first 3D mapping of the spinal cord, so that we have a better understanding of how it works, the different intricacies of the brain and how it works with the spinal cord, to one day make the wheelchair a thing of the past. There's a lot of people that need our help. We're going to raise money for those that can't afford insurance — those that need surgeries and just don't have the money to do it.
"We're actually planning a trip in a couple months. We're going to Africa for 10 days. We're taking over 200 doctors with us. There are people there that have been in wheelchairs, there's people that have been bedridden for the last year. There's kids with deformities. These guys are going to teach the doctors new techniques of spinal cord research, and also help these people walk that had no chance or no thought of thinking about walking, or holding their kids or walking or whatever with their kids, or just being a father, holding his child. We're going to change that for them, and I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm excited to see where it will go. I look forward to making wheelchairs a thing of the past with the Seattle Science Foundation."
The full conversation with Lockette can be found right here.
Former Seahawks wideout Ricardo Lockette announced his retirement from the NFL on May 12, 2016. Take a look back at his best photos in a Seattle uniform.