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Student who lost father gets NFL playoff tickets, courtesy of Steelers player

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 11:12 PM EST
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PROCTORVILLE, Ohio (WSAZ) - Looking at Fairland High School’s basketball roster, you might notice a first name you’ve never seen before.

Steeler Leep got his name because of his father Rusty’s deep love for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Last week, Rusty died following an eight-year battle with cancer.

“My dad actually beat cancer four times, so I’d make the joke that my dad swept cancer in a series,” Leep said. “It finally got to him.”

Fairland senior Aiden Porter decided to try to find a way to send his teammate to Pittsburgh’s upcoming wildcard playoff game at Kansas City.

Porter shared his friend’s story on social media, and it started getting thousands of likes.

“I just told everybody to share, comment, and tag whoever from the Steelers, and hopefully someone will see it so we can do something nice for Steeler,” Porter said.

The post found its way to Steelers running back Benny Snell, a former UK star.

“I saw Benny Snell had commented,” Leep said. “I thought it was crazy, you’ve got to be kidding me.”

Snell replied to the post, saying he was going to make it happen, and tickets were given to Leep and his mother and sister.

“He has a huge playoff game coming up Sunday,” Porter said, “and he just takes a little time out of his day to do something good, not only for Steeler but for us as a community, just so he can have a good weekend and have a good time. I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Leep is overwhelmed by the touching gesture and the opportunity to honor his father by cheering on the team he loved.

“My father would love this opportunity,” Leep said. “It’s just amazing. I love my man (Porter), and I love everybody in the community for supporting me.”

Others are working to cover all expenses for the trip. Their buddy league has bought plane tickets, and the school is raising money for a hotel room.

The Steelers-Chiefs game will air on WSAZ at 8:15 Sunday night.

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