Shaquem Griffin
Shaquem Griffin (right) celebrates with twin brother Shaquill after being selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 28. (Courtesy of

Shaquem Griffin was selected Saturday by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, fulfilling a lifelong dream that many didn’t believe was possible.

At 4 years old, Griffin had his left hand amputated as the result of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital disorder that kept his hand from developing properly. Despite coaches questioning his ability from youth football to college at University of Central Florida, Griffin kept proving himself, right up to and through the NFL scouting combine where he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash — the same time his twin brother Shaquill ran a year earlier — and bench-pressed 225 pounds 20 times with a prosthetic on his left arm.

Additionally, he’ll join Shaquill on the Seahawks, which tabbed his brother in the third round of last year’s draft.

“It was really like a dream,” Shaquem said. “It was like I was dreaming. Magical stuff started happening. It’s unexplainable, the emotions, everything that was going through my mind. It was crazy. I had a feeling, but the chances are really low, so just to be able to be there.

“I couldn’t ask for anything in the world to have an opportunity to be back with my brother,” he said.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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