As Ray Lewis prepares to take his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, teammates, coaches, opponents, family and members of the media reflect on the legacy of the legendary Ravens linebacker with their favorite memories and never-before-heard stories.
As told to Glenn Clark
Laquesha Jenkins is one of Ray Lewis’ younger sisters.
As kids growing up, my mom worked three jobs, so she was rarely home, so Ray was like the man of the house. We would depend on him for everything — breakfast, lunch, dinner, homework, all the way down to doing our hair. It may not have been the best and the neatest, but it was just the effort that he put into it. It was just like, “You know what? We just put these four little ponytails in here, we put some bows on here, we’re going to make it work.” It’s just some small things like that.
If he wasn’t where he’s at in this point of his life right now, he would still be the same. He has always been humble. He will always give you the shirt off of his back. Anything that he had, you had. We didn’t have a lot as kids growing up. If there was the last of something, he would split it between the other four and he wouldn’t get anything. And that would be OK with him as long as the four of us were OK and my mom.
It’s just like somebody has a heart of gold that’s so big that you just can’t imagine it’s all in one person. But he gives his all no matter what it is — from signing an autograph to taking a picture to a phone conversation to just a smile or a handshake. The smallest things he can do to put a smile on anyone’s face no matter your age or who you are, that’s what he would do.
People still ask us now to this day, “Is that just amazing that Ray Lewis is your brother?” I said, “You know the Ray Lewis. I know the brother.” So your perspective is this man that’s an icon to you, that’s a legend to you. That’s somebody I know who came from a struggle. And it just shows how hard he worked. And hard work and dedication and being consistent, it pays off. That’s what I know.
I knew a kid running around, mowing lawns for a living, painting people’s houses saying, “One day, I’m going to be somebody and we’re all going to be OK.” And we always said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK. They all say that.” But it’s like you’re living a dream and you wake up, but it’s not a dream. My brother is Ray Lewis. My brother is the GOAT. Sometimes it’s surreal, but then I know that that’s my sibling, that’s my brother.
He’s an awesome man. He’s an awesome brother. He’s an awesome dad. He’s an awesome son. He’s an awesome cousin. He’s an awesome grandchild. He is awesome all the way around the board.
To read all 52 memories of No. 52, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Ray.