Shavers honored for overcoming the odds - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Shavers honored for overcoming the odds

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - Akeem Shavers is a story of overcoming.

It started before junior high.

"I thought about giving up on everything, my mom was not here," said Shavers, "I didn't have anyone pulling for me, it was like, I don't want to live, mom was the only thing I really knew back then."

The loss of his mother, at just 11 years old, would not stop him.

Shavers would fulfill her last wish.

"The last thing my mom told me before she died was that she loved me, and to be good," said Shavers, "And I have always tried to do that for her."

But his story was just getting started.

After one season at a junior college in Kansas, he transferred to TJC, where he didn't make the team.

"Even when things were not going well, he was still a hard worker," said TJC head coach Danny Palmer, "There are not many of those stories around, but we are glad it happened here at Tyler Junior College"

Shavers had one season to make it take advantage.

In 2010, he was named an all-conference running back.

That's when his story left Texas, going nearly 900 miles away, to Purdue, a member of the Big 10 conference.

"So what if you are from Redwater, Texas, you can do this," said Chandra Carrington, Akeem's aunt, who helped raise him, "You can be the best of the best."

In the final game of the season, he would prove it, running for a career high 149 yards in a bowl win.

To cap it off, that performance would make history.

Shavers was named most valuable player of the Little Ceasars Bowl, becoming the first former Apache to be named MVP of a Division I bowl game.

"I am the first Apache, that is amazing because we have had so much talent come through here," said Shavers, "That is even more blessing that has been sent my way, anytime you can make history, it is a big deal."

That history was honored today.

TJC honored Shavers, proclaiming today "Akeem Shavers Day" and adding his name to their wall of honored alumnit.

It's a finish to a story, that would make his mom proud.

"She is smiling ear to ear, saying 'that is my baby, I knew he could do it,'" said Carringotn, "She always told him, you can do anything, just put your mind to it."

"That is how she raised me, that is what she wanted me to do, so that is how I lived and how I kept my faith strong, and it happened for me."

And now he has a story, we can all tell.

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