The Staredown | The Heart of a Lion | Episode 13

To say that I'm excited about this week's episode is an understatement. Each year, a defensive player at Ole Miss is selected by the coaches to wear #38, the number worn by Chucky Mullins who was paralyzed after a hit on Brad Gaines during the Oct. 28, 1988 game in Oxford against Vanderbilt. Chucky was a man of courage and perseverance and always had a smile. It is a BIG honor to be named the Chucky Mullins Courage award winner and the 2022 winner had one of the best reactions to being told he was being given the honor...

After a stellar senior season including his first collegiate sack for a 14 yard loss in the Egg Bowl, KD was invited to training camp as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets. On June 16, the XFL Guardians drafted him in the Rookie draft and on July 7 they posted on their social media accounts that he was "the newest addition to the trenches." Football was looking up for him.

But on July 21, 2023, KD was involved in a car accident in which he had to have his leg amputated on scene. He would go on to endure 7 surgeries in 2 weeks. When I saw the news my heart broke. Another Chucky Mullins award winner with a life altering injury. I've seen the posts over the last few months of him working out and getting stronger and stronger. Videos of him riding with his son on his lap on his motorized scooter continuing to be a great dad and live his life. And he was smiling the entire time. Not a single tear (which is way more than I could ever say!).

So imagine my surprise when I realized I had a connection to this incredible young man. I decided to shoot my shot and ask if he would be willing to come on and talk about his life and the work he is still doing in the community and specifically about his Thanksgiving dinner in Oxford that he is hosting for the 2nd year. All I can say is, swish!

His smile and energy made it one of my favorite interviews and inspired me to always remember that it's the heart of the lion that makes them the king of the jungle.

If you would like to financially support the 2nd Annual Chucky Mullins Thanksgiving Dinner benefitting the Oxford Housing Authority, you can send funds via Venmo to WalkingMiracleLLC or via CashApp to $WalkingMiracleLLC

In the words of Chucky, KD, one of my tattoos, and episode 8 of The Staredown, "Never Quit."

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Mallory McCormack
Mallory McCormack
Host of The Staredown