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How Deebo Samuel’s chosen mother saved his life

As Tyler R. Tyne told me.

My stepmother, Precious Martin, my real mother, Felicia Win, and my grandmother, Kathy Win, are the three main women of my life. When I was a kid, Felicia was crazy about street life. I’m not going to dig deep, but it was clear that something had happened to her. She couldn’t offer us in the same way anymore. The place we grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina wasn’t the best. I lost my friend with a gun when I was 11 years old. My cousin Amir was also shot last year.

Precious and my dad Garen Samuel have been together since I was 6 or 7 years old. As a kid, you really don’t think about the nuances of your stepmother and mom. You just want to play the ball. You just want to be a child. But Precious had her own child, and she made time for me and my brother Tykuan. She became the first person to call me no matter what. And I started to think of her as my mom.

At one point I lived with my grandmother. We call her a cat. Around the third year of middle school, she began to get sick. At that moment, I had no place to live. There is nowhere to go. Everyone felt like I could rely on it. But then there was preciousness. She took me. I moved with my father to her home in Inman, South Carolina. Man, to be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to go on to college without her. My grades weren’t the best, but she held me back and pushed me to the finish line. I really think she saved my life. Shit, she raised me.

I didn’t know what to do when I was young, but I wanted to change my situation. The times were tough, but when I got to the NFL, I told myself I was going to ask my real mother for help. When I got to that life, I sent Felicia to a rehab facility and straightened her mind. When she finished the stint there, I bought her a house. I launched her, and now she’s back, she works in a normal restaurant, she’s fine. She is doing what she should be doing.

And let me clarify something … It’s my mom! That’s my dawg! I couldn’t resent her about what happened to our lives. She is special to me. Just like precious. What’s interesting is that these two are cool. They have no problem with each other. I love them as well. Shit, sometimes I feel like they both gave birth to me. Whether I call her a “mother” or a “stepmother,” I don’t care about preciousness, nor does Felicia. They are both doing well. Of course, I showed Precious the same level of gratitude as Felicia. I don’t say much because it stays between us.

I bought a house for my brother Taikuan. He’s like my role model. He taught me street, school, sports, everything inside and outside. I still remember him always yelling at me wherever we were. “I’m going to turn you into an animal!” “I’m going to turn you into an unstoppable player!” One day, I went to the front yard of my grandmother’s house. I will never forget it. I put on the pad and didn’t care about anything! Until he puts on the pad and knocks … my…. Bow your head! I’m talking about what I was crying and screaming. My grandmother was upset!

Like my mom, Tyquan was on the street. Inside and outside the prison. But without him, I wouldn’t be an athlete today. I’m not just saying this because he’s my brother. Go to Spartanberg and ask someone who knows who is the best athlete you’ve ever seen. They will all tell you the same thing, “It’s a man named Squirt.” That’s his nickname in his hometown. But he kept me out of the way of trouble. Of course I was around him, but when I was there he wasn’t doing what he was doing. He was the brother you needed.

How Deebo Samuel’s chosen mother saved his life

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