Kentucky fans know the story of former offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei from a football perspective: three-star high school prospect out of West Chester, OH, chose Kentucky over Florida, Ohio State, and Nebraska, among others, four-year letterman, Team Captain as a senior last year, NFL Draft selection by the New York Giants, etc.
What many don’t know, though, is what happened behind the scenes to reach those goals and finally live out his dream of playing in the NFL.
NJ.com published an article on Asafo-Adjei’s strenuous life journey and how many times it all could have been taken away from him growing up.
For Kate Boadi, it took working three jobs as a single mother to even put food on the table for her son, “Big George” Asafo-Adjei, let alone provide the resources necessary to let him thrive in athletics.
“When he asked me for something, I don’t show to him that I don’t have it,” Boadi told NJ Advance Media. “I’d always say, ‘I’ll help you and wait until I get paid.’ I was living paycheck to paycheck, honestly. I had to work so hard. So hard. So very hard.”
For Asafo-Adjei, it was heartbreaking to see his mother struggle so much growing up, but he feels it was a learning experience for his own future life with family.
“Seeing how her body hurts but she still goes to work because she knows she has to provide for me,” George Asafo-Adjei said, “that’s a lot of motivation for me, and it shaped how I view my life. I want to put my future family in a great situation before it happens so we don’t struggle how my mom and I struggled.”
While life wasn’t easy, the former Wildcat knows that his mother doing just enough to get by allowed him to play the game of football. Without it, he knows for certain he would’ve gotten in trouble growing up and his story could have changed dramatically for all the wrong reasons.
“Football kept me out of trouble and gave me a sense of hope that my life at the time wasn’t always going to be that way,” Asafo-Adjei said. “It gave me an opportunity to make something of myself when I didn’t think things would improve. Football really has changed my life.”
All of that hard work finally turned into this moment for the former Wildcat last weekend when the New York Giants selected him in the seventh round of the NFL Draft:
7th round pick George Asafo-Adjei gets the call he's been drafted by the #NYGiants.
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 28, 2019
“Oh my gosh, I feel like the luckiest man in the world,” Asafo-Adjei told NJ.com afterward. “I’m blessed. Truly blessed.”
For Boadi, she’s just as thankful that all of her hard work and sacrifice paid off in the end.
“I thank the Giants so much. I thank America. I thank the coaches. I thank God,” Boadi said. “I thank everybody that came together to pick my son. Because they changed my life. He makes me a proud mother.”
In the entire article by Ryan Dunleavy, NJ Advance Media interviewed Asafo-Adjei, his mother, and former coaches (including Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman), among others. The feature is phenomenal, highlighting how “Big George” got his nickname, his life as a football player, and what the Giants are going to get from their 6-foot-5, 315-pound draft selection.
Read the incredible piece here.
‘Big George’ Asafo-Adjei is coming to #giants to ‘take a job.’ Inspiring tale of a @UKFootball captain who went from struggling to find lunch money as a boy to #NFLDraft19 pick with a LLC and big ideas (and those who helped him get here). https://t.co/SQgnpXNAOG #bringit #weareuk
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) May 3, 2019