Drive-thru graduation celebrations have been common this year due to COVID-19, but none can compare to the one after Mo Gaba graduated from Lindale Middle School in Linthicum Heights, Md.
The devoted Ravens and Orioles fan celebrated with a parade and visits from some notable names in Baltimore sports. Ravens guard Bradley Bozeman and his wife, Nikki, and Barstool Sports’ Eric Arditti were among those in attendance for the celebration.
“I’ve been trying to come up with words. The only words I’ve been able to say are amazing,” Arditti said on Glenn Clark Radio June 17. “It was the best thing I’ve ever been a part of by far, not even close to anything else.”
Orioles Trey Mancini and Austin Wynns were also among those who visited Mo to celebrate his graduation. Bozeman spent a few minutes with Mo and his family and presented him with a game ball from the Ravens that read #MOSTRONG.
Bozeman was drafted in the sixth round by the Ravens in 2018. He started in all 16 games last season and helped Baltimore set the single season team rushing record (3,296 yards). He spent some time with Mo at a coat drive last December, and after presenting him with the game ball what happened next created a special moment.
After receiving the ball, Mo gave the ball to his mother, Sonsy.
“The reporters weren’t really paying attention and I’m [crying] in this mask and everyone’s looking around like, ‘Is this lady all right?’” Nikki said on GCR June 23. “I’m listening to Mo and him being like so sweet. The whole front of my facemask is soaking wet.”
“If we all had a little bit of Mo in us, the world be a lot better place,” Bradley said.
Mo has battled cancer for most of his life. The 14-year-old was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer called retinoblastoma at 9 months, and he lost his vision when he was a year old. He’s battled cancer ever since. Despite all he’s been through, he has impacted the Baltimore area through his smile and personality, gaining a following in the process.
“One of the news helicopters was flying over and he goes, ‘Man, I must be the most wanted guy in Baltimore,’” Bradley said.
“I saw faces that I’ve never seen before — people who didn’t even know Mo, they just wanted to see him,” Arditti said.
After he started calling into The Scott Garceau Show on 105.7 The Fan, Mo instantly captured the hearts of Baltimore sports fans and athletes. Mo threw out the first pitch at an Orioles game and was on the field for the coin toss before a Ravens game. He made history by becoming the first person to announce an NFL Draft pick using braille when he announced Baltimore’s fourth-round pick at the Inner Harbor in April 2019. The pick ended up being Oklahoma guard Ben Powers.
Arditti put together a video featuring Baltimore athletes, reporters and friends of Mo. Some notable names include Cal Ripken Jr., Trey Mancini and Torrey Smith. The roughly four-minute video was filled with congratulatory messages and well wishes for Mo.
“You’re one of the strongest people that I know, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to meet you,” Smith said in the video.
For more from Arditti, listen to the full interview here:
For more from Bradley and Nikki Bozeman, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Eric Arditti