Josh Shaw’s football season is on hold indefinitely due to injury, but it’s a price the senior University of Southern California cornerback was willing to pay in order to save his seven-year-old nephew Carter.
While attending a family function Saturday night in his hometown of Palmdale, Calif., Shaw looked down from a second-floor balcony into a pool below and saw Carter, who cannot swim, in distress with no help in sight.
Shaw leapt into action – literally – jumping off the balcony and landing on the concrete below. His legs injured from the fall, the defensive back crawled into the pool and saved his nephew using only his upper-body strength.
“I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew,” Shaw, who was diagnosed with two high ankle sprains, told the USC Trojans website.
“My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world. I am taking my rehab one day at a time, and I hope to be back on the field as soon as possible.”
Shaw said Carter was a bit “traumatized,” but physically fine.
“That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said of Shaw, a team captain. “But that’s the kind of person he is. It is unfortunate that he’ll be sidelined for a while and we will miss his leadership and play, but I know he'll be working hard to get back on the field as soon as possible.”