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Big 12 recognizes former RHHS standout Sam James in video
Sam James
Sam James

Sam James, a wide receiver for West Virginia University and Richmond Hill native, was named a Big 12 Champion for Life. His story is featured on the Big 12’s social channels and will be played in-stadium during the season.

James was one of the first in his family to earn a college degree and credits his mom for inspiring him to achieve his dreams despite external struggles. James is passionate about using his platform to encourage kids to take care of their mental health.

“There’s a stigma, especially around male athletes, that you shouldn't go get help or open up about certain things that you're going through. But everybody needs someone to talk to. Everybody's going through something. You need to be able to open up about those things so you can get the right help, so you don't get in the dark place where we see some of these athletes are today," James said."

“And so it's very important for athletes now to go and seek help, especially in the world that we're living in with social media and stuff like that — you just need somebody to go talk. It’s very important to seek help,” he added.

“I’ve watched Sam transition into really becoming a man and somebody that is very confident in his ability to articulate his thoughts and what he wants to say.," said West Virginia University head coach Neal Brown. "That’s the thing about coaching.  You know, everybody talks about wins and losses, and that matters. That's what we signed up for. But when you talk about personal growth, and seeing young people grow and be able to go out and achieve great things beyond the football field, Sam James is one of those guys.”

 Now in its eighth season, Big 12 Champions for Life has featured the life-changing stories of nearly 400 student-athletes and university alumni. The young men and women who have earned a scholarship to compete in their chosen sports embody the defining characteristics of a champion: leadership, perseverance, community service and discipline. These leaders have used their platforms and voices to stand up for what they believe in, inspiring their teammates and communities – and creating change. New stories from student-athletes representing each of the conference’s 10 universities will be shared throughout the 2022-23 academic year. 

For more information, visit the Champions for Life section at

To watch a video of James appearing on Twitter, go here:

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