Hubbard grad, Houston player hosts backpack giveaway

NFL player and Hubbard High School alumnus Kurtis Drummond talks with a local student during a backpack giveaway Saturday in the Hubbard High School auditorium. Drummond gave away approximately 300 backpacks filled with school supplies.

HUBBARD — Hundreds of wide-eyed kids filled the Hubbard High School auditorium Saturday afternoon as one of their own came back to show his gratitude and generosity.

Kurtis Drummond, a third-year safety for the National Football League’s Houston Texans, returned to his alma mater to distribute 300 backpacks filled with school supplies for students in grades four to nine.

Drummond, who was born in Masury but transferred to Hubbard, said he wanted to give back to the community that supported him.

“I’m grateful to give to people who helped me,” said Drummond.

Drummond, who attended Michigan State University, was a first team all-Big Ten selection in 2014 and won two Big Ten championships in 2010 and 2013. He joined the Texans in 2015.

In his address to local students, Drummond spoke of the humility, hard work and dedication that allowed him to make it to the NFL.

“I had dreams of trying to be an athlete,” said Drummond. “I had to learn to be humble along the way.”

Drummond said his primary inspirations were his mother, who taught him about sacrifice, and his older brother, whom he always wanted to be around.

Brian Hoffman, head football coach at Hubbard High School, spoke highly of Drummond and his conduct in high school.

“He did all the right things,” said Hoffman. “He was a good student. He worked hard. He was a great athlete and a great individual.”

When asked about the best part of playing football, Drummond’s answer brought the discussion full circle for young students.

“The best thing is the hard work that goes into it,” said Drummond. “When you work hard, you feel rewarded. It’s the same as studying for a test.”

Colton Beil, 13, said the event was a pleasant surprise.

“It’s very nice of him to do something like this,” said Beil. “Sometimes when you see people make a lot of money, they keep it to themselves. You don’t see this often.”

Joe Weser, whose 13-year-old son Anthony was in attendance, said events like the backpack giveaway are important learning moments for children.

“It helps kids understand what it means to give to others,” said Weser.

Amere Thigpen, 12, said the giveaway helped meet a need in the community.

“Some kids may not have bookbags so they can’t get the supplies they need,” said Thigpen.

Drummond advised his young listeners to keep things in perspective and to treat others with respect.

“If you’re not humble now, you’ll be humbled later in life,” said Drummond.