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Just by appearance, 11-year-old Raley Young and Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis don’t have much in common.
But Young has taken on a nickname she has come to love, and one that her father says fits her well.
“They call me ‘Ray Ray Lewis,’” Young said. “I was running for the ball, and they just saw this face that reminded them of Ray Lewis so they started to call me ‘Ray Ray Lewis.’”
Ray Lewis Meets With ‘Ray Ray’
“She has the look and she really is fierce out on the soccer field,” her father Hunter added.
The nickname is natural for Raley, who also wears number 52, as Lewis is her favorite player on the Ravens. She’s such a supporter that for her recent 11th birthday party, Raley asked that instead of gifts, her friends provide donations to the Ray Lewis Foundation.
“Her friends were very generous when they heard what it was about,” Hunter said.
Raley raised $300 for Lewis’ foundation, and on Friday she was invited to the Ravens’ practice facility in Owings Mills to deliver the money to Lewis.
“I was scared,” Raley said. “It’s not every day that you get to meet a person like Ray Lewis.”
Lewis met with Rayley and Hunter for a few minutes after practice, and he even extended an invitation neither of them were expecting.
“This is what I’m going to do,” Lewis said to Raley. “Since you did me a favor, if we win this next game then we’ll have a playoff game at home, and I want you to be my guest.”
Her face lit up immediately.
“I was so excited,” Raley said. “I didn’t think he could just hand out tickets to anybody so I was surprised.”
It was a day that neither of them will soon forget.
“There is so much about the team, but so much about Ray in particular that we all know and really do appreciate,” Hunter said. “Not only is he one of the best football players but he’s a fantastic person and just having the chance to meet him is absolutely an honor.”