Adam Taliaferro, who recovered from a horrifying spinal cord injury while playing in a football game for Penn State, will deliver a short eulogy memorializing his Hall of Fame coaching legend Joe Paterno at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s 108th annual Dinner on Monday, January 30, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Taliaferro was a freshman defensive back when he suffered the career-ending injury in the fifth game of his collegiate career. He was given a 3 percent chance of walking again but miraculously recovered to return to Happy Valley to serve as a student assistant coach less than a year later.
“He (Paterno) was my inspiration,” Taliaferro recalled during one of the public viewings for his coach. “He was a guy that taught me a lot about myself. Without him, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Taliaferro, who graduated in 2005, is an associate attorney with the Cherry Hill (NJ) law firm of Duane Morris LLP and was recently elected a Freeholder in Gloucester County .
Paterno, who died on Jan. 22 of lung cancer, was the all-time winningest coach in Division I with 409 victories. He guided Penn State to two national championships and five undefeated seasons over 46 years.
The public is welcome to attend the dinner. Tickets are $95 apiece, and are available by clicking here.
Doors to the banquet open at 5 p.m., with the dinner starting promptly at 6:30 p.m.
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