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ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) — Aliquippa is beaming with pride after learning that another native son will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Mike Ditka was the first, and now, defensive back Ty Law will also receive the gold jacket.
“In order to achieve something like that you have to be consistent and do something well for a very long time,” Law said.
From his days as an Aliquippa Quip to life with the New England Patriots and beyond, Law excelled on the football field.
He was WPIAL and PIAA state champion in 1991, an All-American, All Big Ten in college, a perennial Pro Bowl player, Super Bowl champion and now a member of the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Eugene “Salt” Smith is a member of the Ebenezer AME Church where Law grew up.
“The whole town is really joyful. We’ve been with him ever since he was a little kid. He was winning from high school, he won a state championship in football, then he went to the University of Michigan, and then being drafted number one by the New England Patriots,” Smith said. “Just a tremendous individual born and raised in this church, an inspiration to all the young people. He’s a good person.”
Former Aliquippa Coach Don Yanessa also watched Law grow up. Yanessa didn’t coach Law in high school, but they developed a strong friendship.
“You could tell there was a future there. I mean, a good athlete, smart kid. When he looked at you, he was listening,” Yanessa said.
Yanessa remembers how Law’s coach at Michigan once described his talents.
“Ty could cover one half of the field in the secondary all by himsel, and the other three guys — the other corner, free safety, strong safety — covered the other half,” he said.
Beyond his talents, Yanessa appreciates Ty Law the man.
“The things he says and what he stands for, I respect all of that and I wish that every kid that came out that was a great athlete could have that same demeanor,” he said.