Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux will get to wear his lucky #5 on the back of his jersey after he convinced the team’s kicker to swap numbers with a pricey charitable donation.
Graham Gano, who has worn #5 since he joined Big Blue in the 2020 offseason, agreed to change his number to 9 after the defensive youngster, who the Giants selected first in last month’s NFL Draft, wrote a $50,000 check to the non-profit Puppies Behind Bars earlier this week.
“When he said he was willing to give to that, I can be #9,” Gano told Giants.com. “And maybe in 10–15 years, when he retires and I’m still kicking, I can get #5 back”
Thibodeaux wore #5 as a standout defensive lineman at the University of Oregon, and wanted to continue wearing the number in the pros.
“I was like, man, I guarantee if we draft him, he’s going to want my number,” the kicker said.
Rather than make Thibodeaux cut a check to Gano, the kicker and the rookie agreed to donate to the organization that hires formerly-incarcerated individuals to raise and train service dogs for veterans and first responders.
Thought you guys were gonna post my new jersey hanging up…😁 https://t.co/Ozcka0NPRe
— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) May 9, 2022
“The opportunity to give to something is exciting, and the number is obviously very special to Kayvon,” said Gano. “While it is special to me as well, there’s a whole lot of meaning in that No. 5 to him. I just wanted to be a good teammate and also be able to support others throughout the whole process.”
For more coverage of Kayvon Thibodeaux and the Giants, head to amNY.com.
With numerous family members serving in the military, Gano said the Puppies Behind Bars organization’s core mission was uniquely special to him.
“So I’ve seen the sacrifices that are made in those families,” Gano told the site. “Also the traumatic events that happen that take a toll on some people’s lives.”