’24 Strong’: ESPN 30 for 30 film tells story of Zaevion Dobson

Teammates, family says Zaevion Dobson lives on through powerful message

Zaevion Dobson (Source: Fulton High School)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Almost two years ago, Zaevion Dobson died while shielding his friends from gunfire and now his heroic act is being shared in an ESPN documentary.

The Fulton High School football player was killed Dec. 17, 2015 after shielding three girls from gunfire. The 30 for 30 film, “24 Strong,” interviews Zaevion Dobson’s mother Zenobia, brother, teammates and others to share the story of the teen.

“The football brings them in, but this is real life. It’s talking about real people.” said Fulton Football Coach Rob Black. “You’re gonna see a bunch of guys that were heart broken, You’re gonna see guys that loved being around Zaevion, you’re gonna see them tell the story.”

Coach Black says the team still plays every day for Zaevion Dobson. He says they honor something about him at the end of every practice.

“Basically we’re strong for the number 24. What he did and everything that he did for our team and the community around here. It’s ’24 Strong.’ That’s what it’s really about,” said Xavier Malone, a Junior on the team and Zaevion Dobson’s friend.

Zenobia Dobson says the documentary isn’t just about her son. She says it is about their family and his teammates.

“A legacy of a 15-year-old that had a voice, had a mind of his own to be courageous because of what he believed. That night he showed his true identity about his character, about who he is.” said Zenobia Dobson.

When Zenobia Dobson watched the trailer for the documentary, released Monday, she said she felt her son.

“When I saw Zaevion move to the side, his face just appeared in the screen. It just made me so proud of him. I love him so much, it just made me even closer to him.” said Zenobia Dobson.

The film airs Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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