15-year-old High School footballer who died shielding three girls from gunfire receives posthumous honour
Zaevion Dobson was shot dead on December 17, last year, while protecting three girls from gunfire. His memory and courageous deeds will be recognised at a major sporting event next month.
The 15-year-old from Fulton High School will become the youngest ever recipient on the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at July's ESPYS, run in association with ESPN.
Dobson flung himself in the way of a hail of bullets and the friends he shielded remained unhurt. He later died from the injuries he received from the gunfire. In the aftermath of the shooting US President Barack Obama tweeted his respect for the Knoxville youth.
Zaevion Dobson died saving three friends from getting shot. He was a hero at 15. What's our excuse for not acting? https://t.co/hn98uGsjKZ
— President Obama (@POTUS44) December 20, 2015
The teenager will be posthumously awarded an accolade previously received by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King and Caitlyn Jenner. It is expected that his mother, Zenobia Dobson, will accept the award on his behalf.
Zenobia Dobson told ESPN that her son always stood up to bullies, whether at school or in his neighbourhood. She commented:
"I'm just so honored to be his mother. I will always love him in my heart, but since his passing, I love him even more.
"I draw closer to him every day. I visit him at the cemetery every day, and I just talk to him every day, every single day. Even when I wake up in the morning, his picture is right there on my dresser and I can look at him.
"Even if my eyes are closed, I still say, 'Good morning, Zaevion,' or 'Good night, Zaevion,' 'I love you, Zaevion,' 'I miss you, Zaevion'."
The ceremony takes place on July 13 and will be hosted by WWE star John Cena.