Former NFL player featured speaker at upcoming program recognizing influential African Americans

From Staff Reports

Feb. 17, 2008 - A former NFL player will be the guest speaker at an upcoming program honoring the most influential African Americans in Hopkins County.

Shawnk King, who played for five year in the National Football League and is a current member of the John Jacobs Next Generation Power Force Team member will speak at the 3rd Annual J.D. Franklin 24 Most Influential African Americans of Hopkins County Program at the Cypress District building, 400 Como St.

The program begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Food will be served following the free program, sponsored by the African American Leadership Conference.

Those being honored at this year's J.D. Franklin program include Bernard Vaughn, Frank Jimmerson, Joyce Moore, Monica Hasley, Lillian Washington, Audine Turman, Demetra Robinson, Janea Relford, Melverine Barkwell, Tina Lazarus, Peggy White, Mynder Nash, Mother Mary Porter, Justice Jones-a youth, W.C. Pryor, D.K. Young, Alaric Williams, Ronald Lewis, Jasper Nash, Milton Phifer, Glen Harper, Silvesta Alexander, DeWayne Berry, Pastor Rudy Ellis and Debra Edwards.

Shawn King was a member of the Louisiana Class 5A state high school football champion team, which was also regarded as the best in the nation. He was a high school All American before becoming defensive lineman at Louisiana State University before becoming a professional football player. He was a second-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 1995, taken 36th overall. He played defensive end for the Panthers for four years before ending his career with the Indianapolis Colts.

As a member of the Nesxt Generation Power Force ministry, the 6-foot, 4-inch, 280-pound King's strenght is employed in school assemblies teaching youngsters about academic achievement, self-awareness, making the right choices and other values. King and the other members of the group seize students' attention by using their strength and size in feats such as ripping 3 license plates in half, bending and twisting steel rods between their teeth and rolling up frying pans into the shape of burritos.

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