A former college football player born without legs is the final speaker in Cortez’s TEZ Talks.
Dave Stevens, who played several sports for the University of Augsburg in Minnesota and had a long career at ESPN will speak at 7 p.m. March 2 at Montezuma-Cortez High School as part of TEZ Talks, sponsored by First National Bank in Cortez.
Previous entries in the bank’s series of inspirational talks, organized in partnership with the city of Cortez and the Cortez Retail Enhancement Association, featured former Broncos wide receiver Mark Jackson and former Houston Rockets mascot Robert Boudwin.
According to his website, Stevens grew up in foster care after he was born with underdeveloped legs. Despite his disability, he was successful in football, wrestling and baseball throughout high school and college. He also signed a three-week minor league contract with the St. Paul Saints in 1996. He later went on to become an assignment desk manager and a coverage editor at ESPN, where he received seven Sports Emmy Awards. Now he works as a professional motivational speaker.
In Cortez, Stevens will speak on “overcoming obstacles, doing the best with what you have and perseverance,” according to a news release from Cortez’s manager of marketing and events, Jon Brooks.
Brooks said the former athlete will also speak to students at Montezuma-Cortez High School and Cortez Middle School earlier in the day.
Brooks said more than 100 people attended the other two TEZ Talks. The city and CREA would like to organize more lectures in the future, he said, although he added they have yet to discuss plans for the next winter series with First National Bank.
“It’s all about growing the brand right now,” he said in an email.
The city plans to host another event with the bank in May, he said, but it has yet to finalize the details.
Like the other TEZ Talks in the series, the March 2 event will be free.