BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — When the Canadian Football League was postponed for the 2020 season, Naaman Roosevelt saw an opportunity.
“I want to get into coaching when I’m done playing, I enjoy teaching, and I enjoy helping out any way I can. I’ve been doing a little camp when I’ve been in Canada, doing little camps here and there, and I haven’t been home in the summer in a long time so I’m glad to be home, glad to help out any way I can,” Naaman Roosevelt said.
A graduate of St. Joe’s and a record-setting receiver at UB, Roosevelt spent four seasons in the NFL including two years with the Bills before moving to the CFL where his career took off.
With the CFL on hiatus this summer, the Buffalo native is back home and is spending his days imparting his decades of football wisdom onto kids around the area.
“I feel like it’s my time now. I feel like this pandemic really put stuff into perspective knowing that football doesn’t last forever. I’ve got to find other things to do and other things to put my work towards,” Roosevelt said. “I think this was a time in a moment for me to give back and help out, I’ve been enjoying it.”
“It’s great because not many of us from Buffalo make it out like he did, it’s just real great to work with him,” rising St. Francis sophomore Malik Williams said. “He’ll help me get out of here maybe.”
Each week, Roosevelt hosts hour long sessions for kids of all age groups, ranging from 11 and under, 12-14, and high school aged receivers to work on their agility, skillset, footwork, and perfect their craft.
“Definitely my footwork and my speed, that’s what I had to work on coming into this and I’ve definitely improved,” rising Timon senior Kyle Hoare said. “Naaman’s been helping me a lot, I’m going to be ready for next season for sure.”
“Probably my foot placement now, and I probably got faster over this time, because I got real slow when I wasn’t doing anything,” Williams laughed. “He’s just helping me get back up and start my groove again.”
“I’ve been enjoying it, especially my time here, and I just want to give back. I’ve been blessed to play for so long and enjoy what football has brought to my life, so I just want to pass that on,” Roosevelt said.
Roosevelt says he plans to keep working with kids through the end of the summer until the CFL starts back up in the middle of September, but if the league postpones the season he says he’ll continue his clinics until it gets cold outside. For more information, you can visit his website.