NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. Rashaad Slowey recalls watching Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice play at New Rochelle High School when he was a teen headed for Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains and later at Southern Connecticut State, where he starred as running back.
Slowey, who recently graduated from Southern Connecticut, rushed for 1,624 yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior season. He joined dozens of high school, college and professional players and coaches Saturday as coaches for Ray Rice Day, the annual one-day camp sponsored by Rice at his alma mater New Rochelle High.
Ray was a role model for me as a player, the Mount Vernon native said. I really respect what he does with the kids and how much love he puts into it. You see him out there running and wrestling with the kids, just a kid himself. But as a professional player, for him to come back and do this every year, is special.
Slowey work alongside Rices former Baltimore Ravens teammate and current New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott tutoring the hundreds of boys and girls from all over Westchester County and the New York area who spent the morning learning skills, running sprints and cherishing the chance to be taught by Rice, Scott, Slowey and the other football players and coaches.
As a kid, you never forget days like today, Slowey said. We try to teach them the little things that will help them understand the game and to know they can work hard and be successful. Im learning from Ray and Bart Scott too. These guys really give back and that is very important.
Campers Manny Azolin, who lives in Boston, and Daron Long of New Rochelle, stopped to talk about their coaches before running off to their next station for more drills.
They know a lot about football and its great to meet the pros, Long said. Were doing a lot. Were getting to know more.
For Slowey, who says he still remembers his early days on the field, the day meant more than just a Saturday chore.
Ray Rice Day is a big thing for these kids, Slowey said. Im just glad to be here and be a part of it.
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