PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — LeSean McCoy, shoulders slumped, helmet in hand and sweat dripping from what seemed like every pour in his body, was coming off the field last summer after another grueling practice. The last thing it seemed that he wanted to do was stop and talk to anyone—the media that lined up to speak with him or the handful of fans privileged enough to be at the NovaCare Complex to watch training camp.
Something, or more like someone, changed the Eagle star tailback’s demeanor. Sitting propped up in a wheelchair was a young man “Shady” knew well. McCoy bypassed everyone and cut right to him. The pair laughed and joked as if they were the only two in the world, McCoy giving his new friend his complete attention.
It was one of those powerful, unseen moving moments that make McCoy a rarity—both on and off the field. The Eagles’ All-Pro, arguably the NFL’s best running back and the league’s fifth-best player, according to a player’s poll taken by the NFL Network, is coming off a career-topping season.
What makes McCoy more special is that he’s a superstar who “gets it.” The “it” is about giving back, which McCoy will be doing this weekend at the LeSean McCoy First Annual Celebrity Birthday Charity Weekend, centered around McCoy’s 26th birthday.
The Shadyfest will kick off Friday night with a birthday reception at Chickie & Pete’s from 7-11 p.m., followed on Saturday by a celebrity basketball game at Neumann College at 3 p.m., then an all-white celebrity after-party on the battleship New Jersey from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. McCoy will wrap up his weekend with an appearance at the Cecil B. Moore Rec Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Among the celebrities expected to attend are rapper Nelly, former Eagles DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick, Giant receiver Victor Cruz, Cleveland Cavalier Dion Waiters, singer Bobby Valentino, Philly’s own world champion fighters Danny Garcia and future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, and actor Columbus Short.
Proceeds for the event benefit the ALS Association, which holds a special place in McCoy’s heart. It was ALS that claimed his grandmother, Maryann Branch. The event also supports McCoy’s personal charity, Shades of Greatness.
“It’s important to me to give back,” said McCoy, who also hosts an annual “Shady Day” which provides food for families in Central Pennsylvania, and an annual charity softball game. “I see so many guys go big-time. They forget where they came from and what got them here. I feel I have to give back, especially something that helps ALS, which took my grandma. It’s important to remember the community and the people that supported you through the tough times.”
Tickets for the individual events can be purchased online at Shadyweekend.com.
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