LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- From a rough South Central L.A. neighborhood to private high school in Las Vegas, a local football player is not letting his environment define his future.
Jonathan Brady is senior for Bishop Gorman High School.
He was born and raised near Compton. His football career started at the age of 6 when he played for Snoop Dogg's youth flag football league.
“I feel like sports was everything for me, it was a way to escape. School was always good, always went well. But it was like whenever you had those days where you just feel down about everything, right after school you head to practice and everything in your mind just went away," Brady said.
Brady described sports as a safe place. His neighborhood was anything but that. “My cousin, he actually got murdered my eighth grade year, you know it hurt."
He said the family needed a change. "We couldn’t just see that no more, like we couldn’t stay in that environment like we had to leave,” Brady said.
Brady's family moved to Las Vegas. He remembered seeing Bishop Gorman play in LA when he was younger. His father, Jonathan Brady Sr., said he wanted his son to have the best opportunities academically and athletically.
“It wasn’t really about the sports, he always told me whatever you want to do, I’m a be there to support you," Brady said.
Brady enrolled into the private Catholic school with no scholarship; his parents paid about $14,000 each year for tuition.
“I just repay my parents with my good character. You know character is everything to me, so character and grades that’s how I repay my parents,” he said.
Brady plays wide receiver for Gorman and is already getting looked at by colleges. The site 24/7 Sports ranks Brady has a three-star recruit and No. 22 in the state.
Brady credits the school for shaping him and said the school has opened his eyes into giving back to the community.
“I love football. Football is everything but ... just coming here, better student, better person, and just better overall," Brady said.
His message for other athletes that come from hard beginnings is to never give up: “Don’t get mad at what other people have. Be blessed with what you have and keep going. Don’t stop, no matter what. Don’t ever let your environment or community, if it’s rough, don’t let it define you. Because you’re great."
Brady hopes to make a decision on college in December.