IRVINGTON, NJ – When Kareem Huggins was growing up in Irvington, he would look up to the people who inspired him to follow his football dreams.
Huggins fulfilled those dreams after getting the opporunity to play in the NFL.
That’s why Huggins makes it a point to give back to his hometown.
Each summer, the 31-year-old Huggins comes back to Irvington to conduct his football camp, inspiring young kids who hope to follow his footsteps.
The Sixth Annual Kareem Huggins Camp was held at Irvington High School on Saturday, July 15, drawing a great turnout.
Huggins’ brother also is second-year IHS head football coach Ashley Pierre.
Huggins went to now-defunct Bayley-Ellard HS in Madison and continued his football career at Hofstra University as a running back.
Huggins then signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played a few seasons with the Bucs before suffering an injury against the Saints. Huggins returned home to New Jersey and signed with New York Jets practice squad. After his stint with the Jets, he then played with the Brooklyn Bolts of the Fall Experimental League.
Huggins currently is a free agent, looking to sign with an NFL team.
But as he is training daily, he always makes sure to hold his camp for the young kids in Irvington, serving as a role model like the others when he was a young kid himself.
“It’s a blessing just to come out, because it’s important for the kids; to teach them some of the things that I have learned,” said Huggins. “But also we’ve had some guys in our town when I was small would come back and encourage us and inspire us…, like (Atlanta Falcons assistant coach) Raheem Morris and coach (Ralph) Steele, who runs the Pop Warner teams. They kind of set the standard of how to give back and help our community out. It’s a blessing to go out there and teach…”