Statesville native impresses family, NFL
CORRECTION: Chaketa Borders' name was misspelled in an earlier version of this article.
BY BRIDGETT NESBIT
Chaketa Borders, 39 is doing her part to keep her son, NFL football player Breon Borders, grounded.
That's not a difficult task, she said, because of Breon's humble nature.
"I remember him getting a football and basketball in the fourth grade and he always had one in his hands ever since," Borders said.
She's continually amazed by her son and knows God's hand is on Breon, who signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent and earned a spot on the team's practice squad at the end of preseason.
"My grandmother prayed fervently for us," she explained. "It's God working through the generations. Because God's using Breon, he is already effecting not just our huge family but also the community."
Since his days as a Statesville Greyhound and Duke University Blue Devil, Breon has been inspiring his little brother, Farrell Garner, 17, and hordes of locals, many of whom proudly wear replicas of his Duke and, now, Oakland jerseys.
"They're looking up to him, and he'll use that to transform lives," Borders said proudly. "That's God. They're saying if he can do it, we can too."
Breon was raised around a big group of male cousins, and Breon heeded their wisdom.
Kenny Dulin Sr., Breon's cousin, said the NFL rookie is achieving his dreams because he's too talented to be distracted.
"In the area we come from, Breon could have easily taken the wrong path," Dulin said. "He's excited and determined to continue breaking records on the field."
Dulin, too, was a promising athlete in high school, but he concedes that he made many bad decisions. He knows how easy it is to be distracted and lose your way."
"We talk regularly and his heart and mind are on the game," Dulin explained. "His mom (and) our family are proud of Breon."
At Duke, Breon had 12 interceptions and 34 passes defensed in four seasons, according to NFL.com.
During training camp and the preseason, the Raiders’ first-round pick, Gareon Conley, was injured, opening the door for the Statesville native to show what he is capable of on the field. He then impressed his coaches while playing cornerback with Oakland's first-team defense.
Meanwhile, his mother remains just as impressed by what Breon can do off the field.
"He loves children,” she said. “You'd always see him with a group of kids going to the park. I see Breon changing lives while he wows them on and off the field. He's shining the light God gave him."