|Chris Whitaker / Americus Times-Recorder (Special to NFL.com)|
|Chiefs TE Leonard Pope (left) shares a Sunday fist-bump with Bryson Ross, a 6-year-old he saved from drowning.|
Weeks after he rescued 6-year-old Bryson Ross from drowning in a swimming pool, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope was honored Sunday in a private ceremony held by the boy's family and friends in Americus, Ga., the Albany Herald reported.
Anne Moore, the boy's mother, thanked Pope for his June 11 heroics.
"He appeared out of no place. He was not there at first," Anne recalled. "I never saw him running up. I only saw him dive in, so I felt that he stepped in right on time, and it was just in the nick of time."
Moore has known Pope since he was a young child. Incredibly, Pope was the only person who actually knew how to swim at the pool party.
Sunday marked the first time Pope had seen Moore or Bryson since the incident. Moore awarded Bryson with a plaque, but the Chiefs player deflected attention to praise the boy he saved.
"He's the star," Pope said of Bryson. "Everyone's been telling that I'm the star throughout the story, but I said he's the star. I really want Bryson to look at it as a chance for him to learn how to swim. He can tell his friends, and hopefully the message gets to young kids to be able to learn how to swim at an early age."
Pope is a native of the area, having starred as a teenager at Americus High School. He played collegiately at Georgia before joining the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. He has spent the last two seasons with the Chiefs.