SE: Lamur Love — Former Wildcats Continue Charitable Path

Scrolling through Facebook this spring, Emmanuel Lamur came across a news story that made his heart stop. 

The Youth Enrichment Association for Academics and Athletics in Boynton Beach, Florida, where Lamur and his twin brother Samuel — both former K-State players — started playing football, was broken into. Around 130 helmets and 270 uniforms and other equipment were lost via theft or vandalism. 

Disbelief is the only way Lamur can describe his initial reaction. 

“I would have never thought that would happen in our recreation center,” Lamur, playing for the Minnesota Vikings, said. “It was devastating because you never anticipate that happening, but it happened.”

With the theft occurring during OTAs (organized team activities), Lamur’s free time was limited, but he couldn’t get it out of his mind. So he “meditated” on it, “day and night” until he decided to take action. 

“I told myself I got to do something about this,” recalled Lamur, who is currently battling for a starting linebacker spot with the Vikings. Once OTAs and minicamp ended, Lamur flew to Florida to see how he could help. 

First, and most importantly, was replacing the equipment, “because without the equipment you can’t practice,” he said. 

King’s Academy, where Lamur and his twin brother played their senior year of high school, donated more than 40 helmets to get the rebuilding effort started. Under “The Lamur Charity,” which also includes eldest brother John Lamur, a $20,000 donation was made to take care of the rest. 

“It was just a blessing to be able to help them out. I thank God for that. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help out these kids because, at the end of the day, these kids are the future,” said Lamur. “It’s good to keep them happy and having fun training, not suffering and feeling miserable about not having the nicest things when they’re playing other top competition.”

The donation provided funds for more than 150 helmets and 266 uniforms, which will include a patch reading “The Lamur Charity,” according to a St. Paul Pioneer Press story.

“We would have still been able to have had a season but it would have been really tough if not for that,” Mike Byrd, president of the East Boynton Wildcats, said in the Pioneer Press story written by Chris Tomasson. “We would have had to really go out and be very aggressive with fundraising, and it would have taken a lot. But with that generous donation, we were able to get the stuff right away ordered and it came in just in time for the kids.”

Lamur’s motivation to help stemmed not only from his connection with the program, but also from his lifelong growth from football. Without it, he doesn’t know where he would be. 

“Football is more than a sport to me. It kept me out of trouble. It disciplined me as a child as well. It taught me the basics about life, just that structure and always showing good sportsmanship, always showing respect to your elder,” he said, listing hard work and perseverance as other attributes he gained from football. “Honestly, football saved my life. Of course, God saved my life too. I’m just saying in general, football provided a lot for me.”

Now, Lamur takes the ability to give back seriously. He calls it, simply, “a blessing,” one he’s used throughout his time in the NFL. 

The linebacker did a lot of work within the community of Cincinnati while he was with the Bengals, including donating clothes to the homeless. The Lamur brothers have also made several trips to Haiti, where they spent time at the Mission of Grace orphanage, interacting with children who lost their parents, homes and more when the 2010 earthquake hit. 

“It humbled me in a way,” Emmanuel Lamur said of his trips to Haiti, where his parents were born. 

Lamur said they plan to increase their involvement in Haiti in the future, from building athletic fields to supplying orphanages with athletic equipment. 

“It’s not about yourself,” he said. “It’s about what you’re doing to help out other people, especially these kids.”

Looking back, Lamur said his time at K-State (2009-11) jumpstarted his personal growth and set him on the selfless path he travels every day. 

“K-State taught me so much,” Lamur said, describing K-State head coach Bill Snyder as a father figure to him and his twin brother. “The 16 goals (for success) is something I still look up to and it’s something that I follow. Coach Snyder, he taught us not only to be great on the field but also off the field.”

Lamur, as he put it, “ran with” Coach Snyder’s teachings and hopes to pass them along to as many children as possible. 

“He taught me to be disciplined and always be working hard in everything that you do,” said Lamur, a living example of Goal No. 2: Unselfishness. “I’m just spreading that knowledge of what he taught me into these kids now.”

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