DeValon Whitcomb makes most of football opportunity
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - DeValon Whitcomb leads by example. Whatever uniform he wears, he puts in the work for those around him.
”It’s something we always had to do,” Whitcomb said of his efforts in the community. “We always had to go out, (work at) little food pantries, read to kids, just always making sure that we’ve always given back. That was always instilled into us, from whatever program I was in or from whatever adult figure that I had around me that was also doing the same thing.”
A graduate of the class of 2015, he was a physical presence at Omaha North High School, a state champion in football and wrestling.
Now at 25, Whitcomb has his undergraduate degree and is close to finishing two master’s degrees. He went to the University of South Dakota to play football but never lost sight of what it could do for his future.
”We always knew it was more than just playing ball, wrestling, whatever you were doing,” he said. “The goal was always to get a free education, that was one thing that they always preached to us at the Boys and Girls Club, and so the minute we got the free education, it’s like now what do you wanna do with it?”
He wants to do many things, starting back at home in North Omaha.
Roger Parker has known DeValon all his life.
The kid he called Little Meaty was only five when his father was murdered and Parker couldn’t be prouder of the man he has become.
”(Proud of) what he overcame when he was just a baby,” Parker said from B & B Gym where he trains young wrestlers and where DeValon helps inspire the kids. “To get where he is now, and how successful he is, and just coming to give back to the kids, and out trying to bring our community up.”
As his college playing career came to a close, DeValon was one of 22 players from across the nation named to the American Football Coaches Association’s Allstate Good Works Team. He was one of four featured in a national promotion. In addition to supporting his non-profit efforts, the honor came with $10,000 dollars for a charity of his choice. He chose the Simple Foundation, one of several organizations he has worked with, learning leadership and non-profit business skills.
”I don’t do anything I do for the cameras, it’s always to be an impactful changemaker or change agent for your community,” Whitcomb said. “And once (the Good Works team election) happened, I was like, wow, somebody’s really paying attention.”
His plan is to build a gym and community center in North Omaha, hopefully providing a pathway to the possibility for youngsters.
”The goal is always to be that person I needed when I was younger, and always have that door open for somebody to run into if they need some help.”
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