Hoover rallies behind former HS football player injured in first college game


HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — The local community is rallying behind a former standout  high school football who was suffered a traumatic injury in his first collegiate game at Harvard University.

Ben Abercrombie sustained a severe neck injury that dislocated his spinal cord, creating a long road to recovery.

While the Abercrombie family sits by Ben’s side in a hospital in Boston, back here in Hoover, the community is stepping up for Ben in a big way.

“We know as well as than anything that one of the most powerful medicines is love and support and that’s what we want to send,” said David Bannister, an organizer for “Stand Up For Ben.”

According to those who know Ben, they said he is the all American boy, a great athlete,  a smarter student – making his injury a real punch to the gut for his former middle school coach Brent Brizendine.

“When I got the call, I mean every since then I just…it tore me up and broke my heart so we just thought about things that we can do for Ben so I reached out to David Bannister.”

“We had this idea and it just kind of exploded, because when Debbie reached out to all the restaurants and we reached out to all our partners, we ended up with almost 50 companies…42 restaurants,” Bannister said.

A city wide fundraiser, all for Ben, “I met Ben myself last year, during the season you know he was so excited about his scholarship to Harvard and that really spoke so much to me,” said Debbie Mar, the area director for Newk’s Eatery.

Her area restaurants decided to pitch in too, “when I saw the news over the weekend, I immediately was heartbroken for what he was going through,” Mar said.

Along with numerous other restaurants will donate 10% of their profit on Monday, September 25th to support Ben’s medical expenses.

“What we’re trying to say Monday night is, in the whole community with all these businesses, and thousands of people is Ben, forget about me, we love you,” Bannister said.Click here to find out a list of restaurants “Standing Up For Ben.”

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