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In December 2011, J.T. and his mother Carmen attended their first Jacksonville Giants basketball game.  At that game, the Jacksonville Giants, the dance teams, Mr. Biggs and the Miller on Sports team met the local football hero and learned what many in the Jacksonville community had already known:  that J.T. is not only a hero, but a true inspiration.  Since that meeting last year, J.T. has been a fan of the Giants and Miller on Sports.  Fulfilling his promise for an interview, J.T. came into the studio today, February 14, 2012. 

J.T. Townsend was born in 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida, and received a scholarship to attend Episcopal High School.  While at Episcopal, he received many awards and recognition, including the Episcopal High School Foundation Award for Excellence of Character and the Best Athlete of the Episcopal High School Class of 2005.  J.T. wears two rings:  a 2005 state championship ring on the right hand and an Episcopal High School Senior Class ring.  J.T. is a fan of the Florida State Seminoles.  His ring tone is the Florida State chant, and he wore a Florida State sweat shirt to the interview.  Yes, he is a very loyal Florida State fan.  During the interview, he commented, that the team is “on the verge of another championship.” 

In October of 2004, while playing football for Episcopal against Bishop Kenny High School, J.T. suffered a spinal cord injury.  J.T.’s mother stated, “It was not an accident, but an incident.  He was chosen.”  However, despite his injury, J.T. has made incredible strides.  He gives thanks to God and his mother Carmen as well as the entire Jacksonville community for helping him through his ordeal. 

J.T. attends physical therapy once a week.  That has become a very big part of his life since it is so important to keep his body flexible and strong.  He reported that he now has some feeling in his toes.  He and his mother are extremely excited about the progress that has been made as a result of that persistence. 

At a special ceremony in 2009, J.T.’s football and basketball jerseys were retired for his contributions when he played in the positions of wide receiver on the football team and forward on the basketball team.  While he played both football and basketball in high school, J.T. had also played baseball as a pitcher and catcher.  Now, with his injury, J.T. enjoys watching all sports both live and on television. 

J.T., a college student at the University of North Florida, is majoring in sports management.  While he has very much enjoyed the college experience, with only three more classes left, J.T. is eager to complete his collegiate studies.  He has several career opportunities that he may pursue after his upcoming graduation.

On June 11th and 12th, 2012, the J.T. Townsend Foundation will host a Celebrity Golf Tournament at the TPC in Sawgrass.  Professional Golfer Fred Funk is supporting J.T. on this project.         

J.T.’s foundation is:  http://www.jttownsendfoundation.org/

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