Fallen Rutgers Football Player Eric LeGrand was greeted with a standing ovation as he wheeled into the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway for his first outing since his critical injury last October.
LeGrand was quickly swarmed by well-wishers as he took center stage at a comedy show Feb. 19 headlined by comedian and Rutgers alum Bill Bellamy to help defray his medical expenses.
The junior defensive tackle suffered a spinal cord injury in a head-on tackle during an Oct. 16 game and is being treated at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange.
Randall Pinkett, also a Rutgers alum and past winner of the Donald Trump TV franchise “The Apprentice,” emceed the show and reported in his introduction of the wheelchair-bond Scarlet Knight that LeGrand is making great strides in his recovery.
LeGrand is experiencing sensation throughout his body and is able to sit up in a wheelchair on his own, Pinkett said.
Facing the audience from center stage at the start of the show, LeGrand thanked the crowd for its support. ``I’m just going to keep on chopping and do my rehab,’’ he said into the microphone.
T-shirts sold to benefit the Scarlet Knights’ LeGrand “Believe” fund included the phrase ``Keep On Chopping,’’ the team’s motto for hard work and determination.
“His enthusiasm, his energy is incredible,’’ Bellamy said of LeGrand before the show. “He’s not down.”