UPDATE: Josh Shaw was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday after admitting that this story was a “complete fabrication.” Read more here.
USC star cornerback Josh Shaw sprained both of his ankles after he jumped from a second-floor balcony to rescue his drowning nephew.
Shaw, who is a team captain and one of the top defensive back prospects, was reportedly at a family function in Palmdale this weekend when he saw his nephew, who can’t swim, struggling to stay afloat in the pool. He reportedly “landed on concrete” and then “crawled into the pool to save his nephew,” according to reports from USC.
“I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew,” Shaw told USC’s website. “My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world. I am taking my rehab one day at a time, and I hope to be back on the field as soon as possible.”
USC Coach Steve Sarkisian said “that was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside.”
“But that’s the kind of person he is,” he added. “It is unfortunate that he’ll be sidelined for a while and we will miss his leadership and play, but I know he’ll be working hard to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
Shaw decided to forego the NFL Draft to come back for his senior season. And as Sarkisian noted, Shaw is one of the most selfless players on the team. After starting his collegiate football career at the University of Florida, the Los Angeles native, as USC noted, returned home after two years–against the wishes of his family–after he learned that “his grandfather had fallen seriously ill and his father–whom everyone calls ‘Superman’–needed surgery that would leave him with a six month recovery period.”
Shaw took over his father’s landscaping business and kept it afloat while his dad was recovering from surgery.
“I didn’t mind going to class, workouts or practice and then making the hour commute from Los Angeles to Palmdale to handle my father’s landscaping business,” he said at the USC athletic department’s graduation ceremony in May. “Although it was never easy, I was able to experience so much joy within my soul, because finally I could give back to my parents who have always given me so much.” After having received his degree, Shaw was working at a commercial real estate firm while returning for his final year of eligibility.
“Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan,” Shaw said in May.