One of USM's injured football players graduates - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

One of USM's injured football players graduates

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WLBT) - Over a thousand students graduated from the University Of Southern Mississippi in two ceremonies at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg Friday.

Among them, one of the football players injured in a shooting outside a night club last month. Martez Smith of Camden received his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. He was partially paralyzed after the shooting. Smith has been in rehab in Jackson since his release from a Hattiesburg hospital.

The 22-year-old says he wants to thank the public for their prayers and support . Smith says he went through a storm and is now waiting for the sunshine and for the lord to bless him with the ability to walk again.

"Today is real special because back in 2006, I decided to come here for football, but I also knew that graduation rate was real high here. So it's real special it's been a long road, and it's finally paying off right now," Smith said.

The audience gave him a standing ovation that lasted more than a minute smith said it was a joy to be back in Hattiesburg today.

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