Mohamed Massaquoi knew the thrill of playing UGA and NFL football before an accident cost him his hand. Now, he’s inspiring others to overcome adversity and thrive.
Football fans recognize Mohamed Massaquoi as a quick wide receiver, but, recently, he’s made an impression for bouncing back from a devastating injury with aplomb. This summer, he’ll complete Harvard’s Program for Leadership Development and plans multiple ways to use those skills, including coaching corporations to effectively reset after challenges. “I’m inspired to live life to my highest potential,” he says. “That inspires me every day.” Here, he sounds off on his story.
Did training as an elite athlete prepare you to overcome your injury? Yes and no. Yes, we’re very driven and focused, but I’d never experienced anything quite like this playing sports. [Sports help] keep you focused on completing a task. For me, the task was what I needed to do to recover. Framing it that way gave me something to shoot for.
How does your drive for education shape your career off the field? I’ve always had a desire to keep learning and growing. The more you learn, the more you realize there’s so much to learn. I think it’s important to give yourself diversity in thought.
What are you most excited about? Becoming an amputee has opened my eyes to the challenges that other amputees face, and I hope to share that experience through a foundation. I’m planning a tennis tournament this year [in Atlanta] and a gala the following year to raise money for kids who are amputees and to spread awareness.
Photography by: todd burandt