This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.
The National Football League has its first Palestinian-American player now that Oday Aboushi has been drafted by the New York Jets. The 6’6”, 310 pound offensive lineman, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, was selected by his hometown team with the No. 141 overall pick in the fifth round on Saturday.
Selected to the Senior Bowl as one of the top players in the country at his position, Aboushi was Virginia’s best offensive lineman and earned first team all-ACC honors. Playing both right and left tackle, he started every game during the past three years.
He’s not particular about what position he’ll play with the Jets. “I’m going to play any position, wherever I’m needed to play, whatever is going to help the team be better and help the line come together as a group,” Aboushi said to the Washington Post.
“I don’t think I can put into words how excited I am to be a New York Jet, to be with my hometown team,” said Aboushi, the ninth of ten children of a family that immigrated to Staten Island, New York from Beit Hanina. As a professional athlete, he has distinguished himself among his siblings, who are all professionals in the legal, medical, business and academic fields.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.