(SNO) – Jahvid Best was once one of the most highly touted players in American football, drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round out of the University of California, at which school he still holds multiple records.
After suffering a concussion in 2011, his National Football League career came to a premature end, just 22 games in, thanks to a series of concussions.
Coming from a solid sporting background (his uncle Stanley runs up to this day, and other members of his family have represented Saint Lucia in the past), Jahvid took aim at the Olympics, where he intended to compete for the land of his father’s birth. He would go on to qualify for Rio 2016, setting a new national record for Saint Lucia in the men’s 100m dash.
“When I think [about] the road I have traveled to get here I get tons of emotions,” Jahvid told NBC at the time. “A couple of years ago my lifetime dream was crushed. I was devastated, but I never stop dreaming and believing in myself.”
After the Olympics, though, Jahvid virtually disappeared, at least from the Saint Lucian perspective. Never having been embraced by local authorities, nor the local public, really, Best’s opening round exit was the last most would have heard from him, as he returned to California to take up a position with his alma mater.
But now, Jahvid Best is back.
The 29-year-old tailback is playing for Team Godspeed in the (non-contact) American Flag Football League, which has been holding a $1 million “U.S. Open of Football” tournament this summer. Four teams made up of former NFL players are competing to make the final, in which they’ll face a team made up of amateurs for the big-money prize.
The 11-game tournament culminates this weekend, and Jahvid has again been providing highlights, going viral with a fourth-and-goal tourchdown grab in the endzone to propel Godspeed into the pro final. If they win this weekend, they play for the grand prize on the 19th of July.
Whether or not this is the best of situations for Jahvid Best, he is certainly making the best of whatever life throws at him.