Hall of Fame Football Star Inspires at Long Beach HS

Long Beach High School students were excited to welcome Class of 1987 graduate and NFL star James “Scottie” Graham for a visit, just hours before his induction into the third class of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Nassau County High School Hall of Fame. Graham spent the morning of Sept. 27 sharing life lessons with members of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes.  

During his teen years, Graham earned All-American titles in football, wrestling and lacrosse, all while never missing a full day at Long Beach High School. He continued his football career at Ohio State University, and eventually went on to play professionally for the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals, without a single fumble of the ball. Currently, he serves as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at Arizona State University. 

While he addressed the students over two separate presentations, Graham discussed pride, poise and commitment, as well as responsible decision-making. He noted that people must “pay to play,” and work for what they want. He explained that he sat in the same auditorium’s seats many years ago as a student and took his goals seriously, which attributed to his success. 

“Be committed to your craft,” Graham said. “You have to determine what you want to do and how you want to do it.” 

Graham was selected to the Hall of Fame as a result of his significant contributions to high school athletics in Nassau County, and he will be formally honored this evening during a celebration at the Crest Hollow Country Club.