Harlem Diamond hoping to blaze his own path in Cedartown
~By Carla Parker
It’s not easy following the footsteps of a successful family member and make a name for yourself, but 13-year-old Harlem Diamond is doing just that.
Harlem plays running back at Cedartown Middle School, just like his cousin Nick Chubb did several years ago. But Harlem isn’t relying on his cousin’s name or reputation to gain respect on the football field. His dad, James, said Harlem works hard every day to be the best football player he can be.
[Being Chubb’s cousin] puts a lot of expectations on him, but he also understands that he’s Harlem and he wants to be himself and make a name for himself,” James said. “It’s good to have Nick in the family, but [Harlem] wants to make a name for himself.”
So far, he is doing both—living up to expectations while making a name for himself. This year, Harlem was awarded the Born 2 Compete Leadership Award and won Future Stars Game 7th Grade Camp MVP. In 2017, he was named a Born 2 Compete 6th grade All-American, National Sports Report (NSR) All-American and Diamond Sport Group All-American.
His strive for greatness began when he was 5 years old.
“So many people in my family was playing [football] and they inspired me to play,” he said. “I just love going out there and hitting people. It’s fun.”
Harlem said his biggest play in his short football career happened when was 6 years old.
“I was playing against Decatur Army and the whole team tried to tackle me, but I broke all the tackles and scored,” he said.
He said the greatest component of his game is his speed and his ability to cut back to avoid tackles. He said he wants to improve his knowledge of the running back position.
Outside of football, Harlem plays baseball, basketball and he wrestles. He said wrestling plays a significant role in his play on the football field.
“[Wrestling] keeps me in shape,” he said. “We run a lot in wrestling.”
Although he gets annoyed sometimes when his peers ask if he’s Chubb’s cousin, Harlem said it’s cool having a cousin like Chubb to look up to. He’s plans to be an NFL player like his cousin, but he also wants a career outside of football.
“I want to be a doctor,” he said. “I want to do surgery.”
James said he is proud of how far Harlem has grown as a player and a young man.
“I’m proud at how humble he is,” he said. “I’m proud of his attitude and his humbleness because at this early age he has received a lot of recognition, but he’s still a kid [that] loves [playing football]. Our family
is very proud of him. I’m proud to see him work for everything that he has gotten because it has all been earned.”