LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP/CBS) — Plenty of teenagers have replica jerseys of their favorite NFL player. Tawfiq Baity had his hand-delivered by his football idol.
New England tight end Rob Gronkowski surprised the 17-year-old junior at Lockport High School outside Buffalo by walking into his history class Tuesday morning and handing him a New England jersey with Gronkowski’s name and number 87.
“I was really happy and shocked yesterday; it was a complete surprise,” Baity told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 on Wednesday morning. “I’ve been a really big New England fan, and I really enjoyed seeing a Western New York native go into the big league. I enjoy seeing how good he is and enjoy his story.”
Gronkowski is the teen’s favorite player on his favorite team. Gronkowski was accompanied by his brother, Dan, a tight end for the Cleveland Browns. The brothers grew up in the nearby Buffalo suburb of Williamsville.
Baity has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He came to Gronkowski’s attention after appearing in a “get-well” video Lockport students produced for the player after he broke his arm late last season.
He said he won’t wear the special jersey given to him by Gronk, and will instead frame it and hang it up in his room.
Baity said he spoke with Gronkowski about Wes Welker signing with the Denver Broncos, and that the New England tight end is “really disappointed” about Welker’s departure.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)