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Tears of joy as NFL drafts first one-handed player

PICTURED: Shaquem Griffin and his twin brother Shaquill

SHAQUEM GRIFFIN has become the NFL’s first one-handed player

Griffin, whose left hand was amputated when he was four, has been selected by the Seattle Seahawks.

The 22-year-old will join his twin brother Shaquill, who is a cornerback on the team.

Reflecting on seeing his dream turn into a reality in an interview with ESPN, Griffin said: “I couldn’t breathe, I was trying to get the words out but I couldn’t talk.”

He continued: “For everybody who doubted me, they are going to really feel who I am. I am not going to let no price, or no pick define who I am, but they will know Shaq Griffin, they are going to know who both of us (Shaquill) is I promise you that.”

Speaking on the prospect of reuniting on the field with his brother Shaquill, he said: "It’s going to bring back everything we ever wanted, It’s everything we prayed for, it’s everything we worked for.”

Surrounded by friends and family, Griffin was visually emotional, breaking down in tears when he got the call from the Seattle Seahawks informing him that he’d made the draft on the final day of the NFL 2018 draft.

The brothers embraced each other after hearing the news.

The boys’ mum said: “We never set limitations on him. We treated him the same as did all our boys. Because you’ve got one hand it doesn’t mean that you just stop and you give up and we give you excuses. There’s no excuses in my home, you fight. Whatever you go for it, that’s your goal. Don’t let someone else dictate and determine who you are.”

Using a prosthetic hand attached on to the bar, Griffin has bench-pressed 225lb 20 times – three more times than that of his identical twin.

In March of this year Griffin stunned scouts at the NFL Combine when he ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, clinching the fastest linebacker time since records began in 2003.

"I don't see it as a handicap and I have never looked at it that way," said Griffin.

"I hope I am an inspiration for people, to see I can do whatever I want. I haven't seen anything I couldn't do. I'm never going to let someone put a label on me," he added.

Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome, a congenital condition that meant his fingers on his left hand did not fully develop.

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