Al Amir Ward knows the meaning of sacrifice thanks to family and football

Killeen, Texas is a military town, people come and go. It’s where Al Amir Ward calls home.

“I was a military brat for a while and I’ve been in Killeen since age three. Killeen is everything to me. Man, this is where football was placed in my heart. I mean TX = Football,” he said.

He comes from a sports and military background as his father, Aziz Ward, was a basketball player but left to serve in the military and become an infantry soldier.

Al Amir Ward is the nephew of Abdul Jeelani, the man who scored the first points in Dallas Mavericks history. He played two seasons in the NBA with the Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers (1979, 1980) and played 143 career averaging nine points, 3.5 rebounds and shot 47 percent from the field.

Al Amir Ward’s parents place importance on taking care of the family. That’s what his father did. When it comes to football, his mother Dekeithra Ward was the first to see his love for the game of football grow from when he started playing at five years old until this point.

“…She always believes in me, pushes me and invests in me so yeah, it’s for her as well,” Ward said.

She was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Al Amir Ward admitted that it’s tough to see her in the state she’s in because she has always been the backbone of the Ward family.

Al Amir Ward will be a junior defensive end for the Killeen High School (Tx.) Kangaroos (4-6, 2-4 6A District I Region 8) next fall and he recorded 78 tackles, 21 quarterback pressures, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 2017. Check out his sophomore highlights.

“Recruiting is a test of patience and all in someone else’s hands. I’ve been getting more traffic from coaches and for those who understand your Junior year is your golden year it all starts there,” Ward said about his recruiting process.

He doesn’t have any scholarship offers at the moment but has high interest in TCU, Wisconsin and Arkansas State.

TCU caught Ward’s interest as a young boy growing up in Texas and Wisconsin is his family’s home state so they are fans of that football program and Ward also knows that Wisconsin is strong academically.

“I’m open to playing at any level, D1, D2, etc. I’m not on this thing to ruling stuff out. I’m open and I don’t discriminate.”

Al Amir Ward shows a good first step off the line of scrimmage, good hands and ability to shed blockers to get the quarterback or ball carrier.

“My first step is killer and I can win the leverage game because I’m quick, solid, fast and strong. I played outside linebacker In youth football so I can do both,” Ward said.

He enjoys hitting the quarterback and displaying his strength against bigger offensive linemen.

He models his game after Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker Von Miller, Former Dallas Cowboy and Denver Bronco Defensive End Demarcus Ware and Oakland Raiders Linebacker Khalil Mack.

In 2018, Al Amir Ward wants to lead the Kangaroo defense in sacks and tackles for loss and be a team captain. He was voted Varsity Defensive Newcomer of the Year and wants to be MVP and stay healthy.

When his time is all said and done at Killeen High School in 2020, he’s going to miss playing with his teammates. The comradery and brotherhood go back all the way to six years old for some of them. That’s rare Ward said because Killeen is a military town so people come and go.

“I’m going to miss all of them. It’s hard to think that we will be going our separate ways. I hope to be considered as one of the best football players and I hope that I can be referenced for my work ethic and setting the bar here. Many athletes in the area had went away from traveling to Dallas and Houston to compete not me I brought it back. I’m there often learning and competing to get better!”