Conner ‘forever grateful’ for chance to fulfill NFL dream in Pittsburgh


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Pitt's James Conner. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

When James Conner needed it most, Pittsburgh was there.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma had robbed him of his energy and put his football career at Pitt on hold. He fought for seven months. And he won. And upon returning to the field, he chose to continue that fight on behalf of others. He reached out to children and others affected by cancer. He visited the Hillman Cancer Center of UPMC, the place that gave him motivation during the darkest of times, on a weekly basis.

He wanted to repay the people of his school, of his adopted city, who wrote him letters, who offered words of support, who prayed, who reached out to touch friends and family.

One phone call late Friday night ensured that connection, that commitment will continue while he fulfills his NFL dream. Because at 11:29 p.m., Conner became the 41st overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft, and he was chosen by the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers.

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