Shaquem Griffin running with football (© Darron Cummings/AP Images)
Missing a hand has not kept Shaquem Griffin from football stardom. Now he's joining his twin on the same pro team. (© Darron Cummings/AP Images)

Speedy, muscular linebacker Shaquem Griffin was thrilled to be drafted to play in the National Football League, especially when he was picked by the Seattle Seahawks — the team for which his twin brother, Shaquill, already plays.

The excitement is shared by the students and alumni of the University of Central Florida, where both Griffin brothers played and graduated. Shaquem Griffin’s success is inspiring countless other Americans too, especially children born with the prenatal condition that kept Griffin’s left hand from fully developing.

The defensive standout was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for his performance after his college team went undefeated in 2017. At an NFL workout before the draft, Griffin ran a blistering fast sprint and, using a prosthetic hand, easily bench pressed heavy weights. Learning he’d been drafted was “like I was dreaming. Magical stuff started happening,” says Griffin.