FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – Whenever 17-year-old Knyzhaun Peete straps on his helmet he’s reminded of the adversity he’s already overcome and what he still faces today.
The Dorchester native lives by a simple motto.
“Never give up no matter, like how many people you lose, how many things you did wrong, just keep your head up and keep going,” he told WBZ-TV.
And Peete, or as his teammates like to call him, “KP,” is learning how to drive through many difficulties – from the loss of loved ones to violence to troubles at home in Boston.
“Seven people I lost (were) close to me. I lived with my mom until I was 15,” he said. “There was an incident and she went away for a little bit.”
When KP’s mom went way he moved into a shelter in Framingham with his dad. And while he’s happy to be out of Boston he now spends many hours alone.
“Making dinner, waking myself up, (doing) my chores,” he explains.
But in Framingham he’s found a second family – a football family – joining the team in earning the starting position as D tackle.
His teammate Filipe Ferreira has been showing him the ropes.
“I think football is a distraction, something that distracts him from the outside world. KP fits right in with us. He’s definitely a brother to me,” Ferreira said.
“The first time he put on pads, all of a sudden, he was a different kid. You could tell that’s where he felt comfortable,” Framingham coach Douglas Carilli told WBZ.
And under his tough exterior is an incredible smile. KP says he has a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
“I’m thankful for my mom still, always reaching out to me, my sisters, my cousins, my aunt and especially my dad. My coaches, they help me out with everything. I call them whenever I need them, they are always there,” he said.