Lateef races around his backyard, a flag tied around his waist and a football held confidently in his hands. He knows how to hold the ball, with the laces touching the tips of his fingers. Lateef got a chance to test his skills on the field with NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Lateef was diagnosed with end stage renal disease at birth, and for the past eight years, his life has been daily medication, hospital visits and several major surgeries. When he finally received a kidney transplant, his days playing contact sports were over. Instead, he took up flag football.
Lateef’s football practice paid off when he got a call from Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan requesting that Lateef join the team for practice. He had been drafted.
At the training facility, Lateef was greeted with a cheerleaders’ welcome, his own locker and Griffin himself. The two raced up the stairs on the way to the practice facility where they tossed the football around. Lateef was even prepared with his own touchdown dance, and after running a play, Griffin joined him in the end zone with Lateef’s moves.
Lateef’s wish was part of the 2013 “My Wish” series on ESPN’s SportsCenter.