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Ismail wows the crowd at the Wilkes-Barre Friendly Sons Dinner

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"I'm proud to be from Wilkes-Barre," Qadry Ismail told the Friendly Sons, "and, I'm proud to be a Meyers' Mohawk" See Qadry's exclusive interview with the Examiner.

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Ismail gave an inspirational speech at the 69th Annual Wilkes-Barre Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick dinner Friday night. He spoke warmly of his formative years in Wilkes-Barre to the crowd of 500 at the annual Saint Patrick's Day dinner at Genetti's Hotel and Conference Center, and delighted the crowd when he focused his speech on all the local teachers, coaches, and educators (a number of whom attended the dinner) who made helped make him into the successful athlete and adult that he has become.

Ismail did not focus on his successes in college athletics or the NFL, but dedicated much of his heartfelt speech to explaining the hard work it took to get to the elite class in professional sports and thanking the local people who made him train both on and off the field of play. Ismail told the crowd that his principal at Meyers (Phil Latinski) told him "you're not going to be a Prop 48 athlete (referring to the NCAA minimal academic standards.)"

Ismail's hard work as an athlete and student paid off in the reward of a successful career as a professional athlete and as a successful broadcaster after his retirement from the NFL.

In 1984, Qadry's mother decided to move Qadry and his brothers Raghu and Suleiman from Newark, New Jersey to live with their grandmother in Wilkes-Barre. All three children excelled in sports at Meyers High School. Qadry and Raghu, nicknamed "The Missile" and "The Rocket," respectively went on to stellar careers at college and in the National Football League.

Qadry was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the Second Round of the 1993 NFL draft, after a All American career at Syracuse University as a wide receiver. Qadry went on to play with six different NFL teams, including being a member of the World Champion Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.

Qadry is currently an analyst with ESPN, as well as a color commentator for the Baltimore Ravens. He resides in Maryland with his wife and children, and he continues his love for track and field by coaching Patterson Mill High School team.

The annual dinner honored Richard F. Crossin as the "Man of the Year," and many local dignitaries were in attendance, including Bishop Joseph Bambera, Congressman Matt Cartwright, Luzerne County President Judge Thomas Burke, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, and Kingston Mayor Jim Haggerty.

Crossin is the son of Ann and the late Joseph "Bud" Crossin, and a resident of Kingston. He is a graduate of Bishop O'Reilly High School and York College. Crossin is President of Bonner Chevrolet in Kingston and also a former past President of the West Side Jaycees.

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