Humble beginnings provide a driving force for many NFL players.
It’s the same for Penei Sewell, the Lions first-round draft pick.
When he first learned how to play football, his family lived on an island called Malaeimi, on the outskirts of Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa in the south Pacific. He was 10 years old, just 10 years ago
He, his mom, dad and three brothers lived in a makeshift one-bedroom shack. It was pink. Sewell seems to look back on that time in his life fondly.
His father never wants him to forget it. So he gave Penei and his other three sons a watch. In the case there’s a photo of that home and words about the importance of family.
“I remember when he gave it to me and I was a little emotional. I look at that image in the watch every single day and that reminds me of where I came from, it reminds me of why I do this, it reminds me of everything it took to get here,’’ Sewell said on Saturday in a media call. “It helps me motivate myself each and every day, it gets me out of bed to look at mom and dad in the eyes and see where we were. again it’s a different motivation, ready to go out there and show.’’
His dad, Gabe, was a high school football coach on the island so he and…