The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

January 31, 2010

'Finish strong'

Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tebow commends Justice on community impact

One Tebow-ism goes “Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.”

The sayings, which have even warranted their own Internet Web site started by devoted fans, demonstrate the incredible status that the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback built while at the University of Florida.

Yes, it is possible that maybe even the Man of Steel looks up to Tebow.

Tebow began his keynote speaking engagement for the Big Atlantic Classic Tip-Off Banquet Sunday, however, by citing a newfound hero of his.

A local guy.

Jim Justice.

“I hope that one day later on my career in about 20 or 30 years, I can leave the same type of impact that Mr. Justice has left with you all,” said Tebow. “Because I don’t usually judge somebody as much by meeting them in person. I judge them by looking at the people that he or she has impacted with their lives. By meeting literally hundreds of people already today, and seeing the kind of impact that Mr. Justice has had on this community, I think ‘Wow, that’s a challenge to me.’ I want to live up to that.

“I’d like to be able to hear people say ‘Good job, you impacted my life. Thank you so much.’”

A large crowd attended the tip-off event for this week’s Big Atlantic Classic basketball tournament, held at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

Tebow is now embarking on a professional football career. He has hopes of being selected in the NFL draft this April. In preparation for it, he played in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday before flying to Beckley for the event a day later.

“It’s been a whirlwind this week,” Tebow admitted. “I went through a lot of scrutiny there.

“I think I even heard some pro coaches critiquing me and saying ‘I don’t think he ties his shoelaces fast enough,’ and ‘His hair is always gelled,’” Tebow joked. “But it’s exciting for me. It’s an opportunity for me to reach my dream of playing in the NFL.

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