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Former Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder has never played football – or, for that matter, done anything – with just himself in mind.
That's one of the lessons he's learned from his younger brother Jamaris, who was born with nonverbal
Down syndrome when Jamison was nine-years-old.
"Being young, I didn't really understand, because I always wanted a little brother," Jamison said in an ACC Network special. "We're aware of his condition, but we treat him like he doesn't have any disabilities."
It would have been easy for Jamison to isolate himself from his brother. Jamison was a standout athlete, starting with basketball and transitioning to football as he approached middle school. He was the rising star in his hometown of Monroe, N.C., the one everybody was eager to talk to and support.
Jamaris couldn't communicate at all.
But Jamison, throughout his entire upbringing, never abandoned him.
"You don't want to neglect anyone just because they have a disability, especially my little brother," Jamison said. "It's just things any big brother would do for a little brother, just to let them see something, experience something. It's very important for Jamaris to have that love."
Their relationship took on a different form of communication: through sports.
Jamaris eventually learned to bounce a basketball after watching his big brother do it at games in high
Check out these photos of Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, the Redskins' 105th-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
school. He, along with his mother and father, attended every game they could, even when he attended Duke.
In fact, the dedication Jamison showed impressed Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe while he was recruiting him.
His mother, Brenda, who has watched the relationship unfold before her, is confident Jamison will continue to care for his brother as he plays in the NFL.
"[Jamaris] would probably say Jamison is the best big brother anybody could have," Brenda said. "Jamison has always been special with Jamaris and I appreciate that love that Jamison shows for Jamaris. I feel that if I'm gone, and Jamison is left as his sole provider and caretaker, that I'll know Jamaris will be taken care of."
As for keeping up strong attendance to all of Jamison's games, the Crowder family will certainly do its best to see him play, especially considering FedExField isn't too far from home.
"That's something I would like to happen," Crowder told the Herald Sun in February. "My family has always supported me throughout college and high school. Jamaris came to all my games. So there's nothing that's going to stop him. He's going to come to the games — the ones he can make. My family's going to be there as well."