(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis picked up the ball for high school football players who couldn’t afford state championship rings, according to a ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC-TV.
Davis heard Harding University H.S. coach Sam Greiner say on the radio that the team needed to raise $20,000 to buy championship rings for team members who didn’t have the funds and the linebacker called in to the radio station and promised to help the cause.
Davis promised $15,000, which along with GoFundMe exceeding $7,000, meets the funding needs for the North Carolina champs’ rings
The team’s quarterback, Braheam Murphy, expressed gratitude towards Davis, according to ABC’s local affiliate station WSOC-TV.
“Our family, we don’t have a lot of money for people to help out. It is really a blessing,” Murphy said.
WSOC-TV reported that the students were fitted for the $400 rings Friday morning.
Greiner told the television station that many of the student football players do not have money for their day-to-day needs, let alone a championship ring.
“We have kids on our rosters that don’t really have homes. They really don’t know what they’re going to eat (from) day to day,” Greiner said.
As for team finances, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools only pays for game officials, security and coaching stipends, according to WSOC-TV.
Despite financial hardship, the team has had a winning 14-1 season, sending the school to its first state championship since 1953.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.