The sports world loves comeback stories, and none better was told in 2016 than that of Eric Berry's homecoming.
“Eric Berry went to Creekside High School here in Atlanta and went on to start at the University of Tennessee," explained sports anchor Ken Rodriguez. "Before he moved on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs, he was already part of what we call the High 5 Sports family...he became one of us."
Berry was drafted into the NFL in 2010 and was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth overall pick. The Fairburn native went on to start in all 16 games of the season. Aside from an early career injury, things were going well.
Then in late 2014, Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He underwent six rounds of chemotherapy treatment, from Dec. 2014 until May 2015, and was declared cancer-free the following month. Berry was recognized for his ability to overcome adversity to succeed when he won the George Halas Award earlier this year.
"What makes him so special is that battled cancer and beat it and went back to play in the NFL," marveled Rodriguez.
The story doesn't end there, however.
“Eric had quite an emotional homecoming," recalls Rodriguez. "In his first professional game back in his hometown Atlanta, [he] intercepted a pass [and] returned it for a touchdown. [The] first person he sees is his mother, hands her the ball, gives her a hug…what a way to show everybody here at home in Atlanta that he had truly made his comeback.”
Yes, the Atlanta Falcons lost the game to the Kansas City Chiefs, but the love for a High 5 Sports family member overshadowed the display on the scoreboard.
Fellow High 5 Sports reporter Cody Chaffins echoed the sentiment.
The Atlanta Falcons may have lost that day, but the High 5 Sports family gained so much more knowing that one of their own was thriving once again.
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