Niagara Gazette

Communities

March 26, 2013

NFL star Rob Gronkowski pays visit to Lockport High School student

LOCKPORT: Tight end Rob Gronkowski drops off jersey to big fan.

Niagara Gazette — Tawfiq Baity's New England Patriots jersey was dirty, so he couldn't wear it to school Tuesday. No worries, he had a new one delivered to him by a special guest.

As Baity sat in room 240 in Lockport High School a voice called out behind him, "Tawfiq! I heard you needed a new jersey."

The voice belonged to Rob Gronkowski, the two-time All-Pro tight end for the Patriots. He's also Baity's favorite player on his favorite team.

Needless to say, Baity couldn't believe it.

"Rob! I'm shocked," Baity said, repeatedly.

Gronkowski stopped by Lockport High School to meet Baity, as part of the work done by SWAGG – Simply Winning Applying God's Gifts – an organization that works to help the underprivileged and disabled.

SWAGG was shooting a documentary on Baity, who lives with cerebral palsy. The Lockport junior loves football, so much so he works as a special assistant coach with the Lions during the high school season.

Hass Saddique, SWAGG founder and a Buffalo native, was the man behind the surprise visit.

"He is the man at Lockport High School,” Saddique said of Baity, “and it's only fitting that something like this can happen to a kid that's so great.”

Gronkowski visited Tuesday with his father Gordon and his brother Dan, who is also an NFL tight end with the Cleveland Browns. He signed a Patriots jersey, one with Gronkowski's name and number 87 of course. The Gronkowskis also handed out some Gronk Nation wristbands.

Baity said Gronk was his favorite player for a couple of reason — "Because he made it big and he's from this area."

And meeting Baity was special, Gronkowski said. Hopefully, Baity will make it to New England for a Patriots game or see them when the Pats are in town to play the Bills.

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