From St. Pete to Seattle, Griffin brothers beat the odds

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A set of athletic twins have followed each other through college football in Orlando, and now professional football in Seattle -- but St. Petersburg will always be their home.

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin have beaten the odds as brothers. Shaquem, for instance, made it to the NFL, despite having his left hand amputated as a child. To top to all off, he gets to play alongside his twin brother, Shaquill. Shaquill played one season with the Seattle Seahawks as a cornerback before Shaquem was drafted by the team as a linebacker.

“Year two was a lot better,” Shaquill said during an interview on Good Day Tampa Bay. 

“He always said there is a one percent chance we can be together,” explained Shaquem, who was honored with the NFL Game Changer Award in early February. “We became that one percent chance. You can’t ask for more than that.”

Before playing for the NFL, both attended Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg before heading off to the University of Central Florida. They played football together for both schools before they headed to the west coast of the country.

They haven’t forgotten where they came from. Together, the Griffin brothers started the foundation, St. Pete Nitro AAU Track Club, a youth track club. They created it at the age of 15.

“We started with 12 kids and now we are up to 150,” explained Shaquill. “Now, we are more worried about their transportation. We are working on getting a couple of buses for the travel.”

He said the purpose is to get the young athletes noticed, but are looking for any type of help to accomplish it.

For more information about St. Pete Nitro, head over to the foundation’s website.