Jaheim Oatis Starts Non-Profit
At a time when most college athletes are focused solely on landing NIL deals, Alabama freshman defensive tackle Jaheim Oatis has officially gotten his non-profit, Mentoring Athletes and Young Adults (MAYA), up and running.
Oatis started the organization as a way of honoring the life of his little cousin, Maya, who passed away due to a brain tumor, and his uncle, who has mentored him throughout the process of transitioning from high school to college.
Per Oatis' statement on social media, his uncle took him to football camps despite having just lost his daughter to the tumor. Years later, his uncle drove from Jacksonville, Fla. to Mississippi to check on him just weeks after having surgery on his own brain tumor.
"Unc : you lost your daughter/my little cousin to a brain tumor you still took me to camps that summer, 5 years later you had brain surgery yourself and a few weeks later you still drove to Jacksonville Fl from MS to see about a kid you mentor , MAYA’s name will live on through us," said Oatis via Twitter.
Oatis initially made the announcement in December, but had troubles getting his business account set up to receive donations. According to Oatis, all donations made to MAYA will be tax deductible.
In his first year at Alabama, Oatis had a large impact on defense. He finished the year having notched 29 tackles and a sack along with four quarterback hurries and two pass breakups. For his efforts in Fayetteville against the Razorbacks, Oatis was named defensive player of the week by his coaches.
Oatis has also earned praise for his impressive shedding of nearly 75 pounds ahead of fall camp, going from 416 to 342 pounds in preparation for the season.