Paralyzed ex-star gets help from FSU

St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

Times Staff Writer

TALLAHASSEE — It would be easy to look at former Florida State star Aubry Boyd and see only what has been lost.

While playing in a pickup football game in his hometown of Macon, Ga., on Oct. 29, 1995, the 6-foot-6 Boyd, then 26, severed the fourth vertebra in his neck and was left a paraplegic. But his story is also one of what has been found.

Since the injury, folks at FSU and the community as a whole, many of whom never saw him play basketball for the ‘Noles from 1988-91, have embraced Boyd.

“He’s a great kid, the best,” said former FSU assistant Dave Zimroth, who recruited him in 1987. “He’s been a blessing to everyone he’s come across.”

So when people learned Boyd needed skin grafts and treatment to deal with a potentially life-threatening complication, they organized a fundraiser for tonight to cover the estimated $12,000 in costs.

“He’s one of us, and he needs our support,” said FSU coach Leonard Hamilton, who is among the approximately 250 who have signed up for “A Night for Aubry” at Cafe Cabernet in Tallahassee.

Checks also have come from all over the country. Brad Johnson, the former Bucs quarterback, and Bob Sura, a first-round pick of the Cavaliers in 1995, are among the many former Seminoles who have contributed.

“It’s been amazing and phenomenal; what this kid has gone through and how people want to help him,” said Tom Carlson, anFSU assistant when Boyd played whois now a senior vice president for Seminole Boosters.

“I am very appreciative of the outpouring of support, prayer and thought from the Seminole Nation,” Boyd, 41, said from the hospital, where he mightbe for another week.

Former Seminole Kirk Luchman, who helped organize the event, said he met Boyd in 1993 when the whole team got together at a player’s apartment. Boyd, already finished at FSU, happened to be there.

“He didn’t know me from Adam. I had just come down from New Jersey,” Luchman said, “and he made me feel like I’d known him for 20 years. He probably doesn’t even remember that. I do.

“He made a lasting impression on me on how you should treat people. The little time I’ve spent with him is something I’ll carry with me forever.”

Fast facts

To donate, make checks out and send them to: Aubry Boyd Foundation c/o Capital City Bank, P.O. Box 900, Tallahassee, Fla. 32302-0900 

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