Inspirational speaker Eric LeGrand (center) is pictured during his recent visit to Red Bank Regional, surrounded by just a few of his fans. Left to right: Ella Brockway; Richard Bakalian; Dontrell Alston; Jalen Willis; Luke Jurek; Tyrese Morris; Al Zager, ESQ (Class of 1966); Risa Clay (Principal, RBR); Dr. Bill Setaro (Class of 1966); Evenel Garriao.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
“My head coach told me to pray,” recalled Eric LeGrand of the fateful day in 2010, and the play that changed his life forever. “I thought my life was over.”
Speaking from the stage of the Red Bank Regional High School auditorium, the former Rutgers football star recounted in a soft-spoken voice the moment of impact to his head, when he suddenly could no longer take a breath. He described the blur of the next few days, when he would wake intermittently to a room full of doctors and later to an empty room filled with noisy machines. Then, finally one day he opened his eyes to the delight of smiling loved ones and teammates. He remembers being excited that the former coach of the NFL’s Giants came to visit him — and he considers himself fortunate for not initially knowing the magnitude of his condition at the time, having broken his C3 and C4 vertebrae.
On Tuesday, December 7, RBR welcomed the motivational speaker who, after being paralyzed from an injury sustained during his junior year, went on to work as a sports broadcaster, support a foundation dedicated to curing paralysis, and lead a most inspirational and consequential life. LeGrand’s visit was made possible in part by a grant from the Red Bank High School Class of 1966.