KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When William Bradley-King’s name was called in the 7th round of the NFL Draft, his family felt immediate relief and pride for a young man who’s been through a lot.
“Thank you, Lord,” his grandmother said through tears.
His aunt said the big news made her day.
“Very relieved, very relieved, and I came to pat him and hug him,” said Donna King, Bradley-King’s aunt who raised him. “I could see the relief on his face.”
Bradley-King played football at Hogan Preparatory Academy in Kansas City before going to Arkansas State and then Baylor. Now he’s ready to be the underdog again as he tries to make Washington Football Team’s roster.
“I felt like nothing ever came easy,” he said. “I knew that this process would be difficult, so for me to go in the 7th round, you know, I like that. I’m used to being the underdog, so I feel like it added more fuel to the fire and I’m still that man on a mission.”
It’s a mission that started as a kid.
“My mother’s my biggest motivation, I do it for her,” Bradley-King said. “I love football. That’s what makes me happy. I do it for the kids in the city. I wanted to show them something different. I wanted to show them that this life is yours. You can do whatever you put your mind to.”
Like his family, coaches who helped Bradley-King along the way were proud to hear his name called over the weekend.
“It’s a great achievement,” Hogan Prep head coach Phil Lascuola said. “He’s worked hard. He’s persevered, and it’s a true testament to his work ethic and his family support. The feeling for Hogan is just unbelievable. He’s our second person to play in the league. It just brings tears to your eyes when they get to that point.”
Bradley-King mentioned he was little league teammates with Jabril Cox, a Raytown South alumnus who was drafted to the Dallas Cowboys in the 4th round.
But these two are a long way from little league. Now Bradley-King is ready to put in the work to make the 53-man roster with Washington.
“It’s your world, be different, beat all odds,” he said.