Jason Pierre-Paul

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following statement on the House floor on February 8, 2012 recognizing Jason Pierre-Paul as a Super Bowl Champion:

M. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the achievements of Mr. Jason Pierre-Paul, a defensive end for the New York Giants. Known by his family, friends, and fans as JPP, Jason played a pivotal role in the 2011 season for the Giants and helped lead his team to victory over the New England Patriots at this year's Super Bowl.

JPP was born in Deerfield Beach, Florida and attended Deerfield Beach High School, which is located in Florida's 23rd Congressional district. Originally a basketball star, after suffering a serious leg injury, he transitioned to football during his junior year of high school. Despite being new to the sport, he went on to play college football at the University of South Florida. After an impressive college career, he was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2010 National Football League (NFL) Draft.

Without JPP leading the team with 16.5 sacks this season and being the steadiest defense player throughout the year, the Giants would not have been crowned Super Bowl champions. One of the lasting images of this game will undoubtedly be JPP's celebration with his father. When he was an infant, his father, Mr. Jean Pierre-Paul, lost his vision and therefore has never been able to watch his son play football. Super Bowl XLVI was the first NFL game that Jean had ever attended. Their celebratory embrace on the field after the game was truly an emotional event to see.

It is these kinds of moments that illustrate the strength and courage that our children admire in athletes. JPP's parents emigrated from Haiti in 1983, and overcame many obstacles to ensure that he had every chance to succeed in life. Learning from his father, JPP overcame injuries and a lack of experience to become a Super Bowl champion.

After his win, JPP said, "It was awesome to experience this in just my second year." "Man, it's a blessing. We just got to stay humble as a team and see what the future holds for us."

M. Speaker, Jason Pierre-Paul's personal story highlights the promise of our great nation. People from all backgrounds have the opportunity to achieve tremendous success in life. It is my distinct honor to commend JPP on all of his accomplishments and for his Super Bowl win.