Leonard Pope is best known as a professional football player. But for a family in Americus, Ga., Pope is more aptly described as a hero.
The Kansas City Chiefs tight end came to the rescue last weekend, saving six-year-old Bryson Moore from drowning in a family swimming pool.
"We were attending a pool party, and Bryson was in the water with the other kids," the boy's mother, Anne Moore, told the Americus Times-Recorder in Monday's edition. "All of a sudden, I saw Bryson going down in the water and I started screaming. Leonard was inside, and he came out of nowhere and dove into the water without any hesitation, cell phone in his pocket and all. He saved my son's life, and I am so thankful that he was there for me and my child."
Moore has known Pope since he was a young child. Incredibly, he was the only person attending the pool party that actually knew how to swim.
Pope recounted the story in a Monday appeearance on "NFL Total Access," explaining how it all went down.
"As he was just tumbling around in the water, you know, he kind of lost his footing and he went sliding in the deep end a little bit," Pope said. "And that's when I heard his mom, Anne, yell and I was on my way out the house and I just went for it."
Pope acted instinctively, personal possessions on his person be damned.
"No, everything. Cell phone, wallet, you know it didn't really matter because at that time that's a life on the line and it just had to get done," he said.
"My prayers were answered by God when Leonard jumped in and saved my son," said Moore. "The fact that he is normally at camp and could have been in Kansas City just proved to me that he was placed here to save my son from drowning, and I thank God that he was here. He truly lived up to his nickname "Champ" because he was truly a champion for me and my son this past weekend."
Pope is a native of the area, having starred as a teenager at Americus High School. He played collegiately at Georgia.
"I brought him back up, I handed him to his mom, patted him on the back, he coughed a couple times," Pope said, "But he was pretty good for the rest of the day."