Millions of people saw the Ravens beat the 49ers Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVII, but some in Buffalo watched for one person in particular. Baltimore cornerback and newly crowned champion Corey Graham is a Buffalo native. Family and friends told YNN's Katie Cummings how his trip to the big game is an inspiration to them and the community.
BUFFALO,N.Y. — It wasn’t the Superdome, but family and friends got together on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo Sunday to watch Baltimore Raven and Buffalo native cornerback Corey Graham.
Those who know him say the Super Bowl is his chance to excel, something he’s been doing throughout his youth.
"At three years old, he was riding a bike with no training wheels, no training wheels at all. Anything he sets his mind to, even when we go bowling now. He’s very competitive and he always strives to be the best," said Graham's cousins Chenay Evans and Natika Evans.
Graham's mother, brother and sister went down to New Orleans to cheer him on from the sidelines.
"They sent a lot of pictures. They got to go on the field and meet a lot of the stars, you know, the star football players. They’re very excited," said Natika Evans.
Although the rest of his family couldn’t be there, they say seeing him on television is surreal.
"The big announcers are going to be there. When they say his name it's going to be amazing," said Natika Evans
"We used to go to all his high school, little league games, and you know. We just was big on football," said Graham's Cousin Charmin Evans.
Family members credit Graham's grandmother with pushing him to succeed.
Corey’s path to the NFL is inspirational, especially to young football players like his cousin.
"It’s good that he's in there but it's kind of helping me out by motivating me and helping me work on my craft so I can get better like him," said Graham's Cousin Eugene Steele.
"Coming from the background and the area we from, being in an inner city. It’s really hard for kids to really have a chance to exceed and just to move on in life," said Graham's Family Friend Rodrick Payne.
Graham's family says regardless of Sunday's final score, they'll always be his biggest fans.
"Win or lose. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about who you are and Corey is that person. He’s not a loser. He’s always a winner in our heart," said Graham's uncle Anthony Graham.