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Running back Juwan Thompson #40 of the Denver Broncos was born in the USVI. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

By NAN Contributor

News Americas, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Sat. Feb. 6, 2016: Caribbean fans of American football have at least two reasons to cheer for either side in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.

Both the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers have Caribbean links!

Running back Juwan Thompson, No. 40, of the Denver Broncos, is from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Thompson, 23, was born in St. Croix. A Broncos spokesman told News Americas Now this morning that Thompson is currently on the Broncos’ 53-man roster for tomorrow’s big game and could very well play.

But as per NFL policy, both teams will only announce their 46-man squad 90 minutes before the Feb. 7th clash at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., so fans will have to wait to see if Thompson will make it on to the field and get some play time.

The Duke University alumnus was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent on May 12, 2014.  He became the first undrafted rookie since 2006 to record multiple rushing touchdowns in a game with his two-touchdown performance against San Diego on Oct. 23, 2014.

He played 15 regular-season games as a rookie in 2014 and rushed for 272 yards on 54 carries. In a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thompson scored his first career touchdown on an 8 yard run.

Thompson’s Twitter bio references Galatians 6:9 which says: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

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Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers has Puerto Rico roots. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

On the Carolina Panthers’ side, Coach Ron “Riverboat Ron” Rivera has roots that run to Puerto Rico.  Rivera  The was born to Puerto Rican dad and Vietnam veteran Eugenio Rivera and a Mexican roots mother in Fort Ord, California, has led the Carolina Panthers to only its second Super Bowl championship.

Rivera’s father’s family still calls Puerto Rico home. He is only the fourth Latino ever to serve as head coach in the National Football League, (NFL). Rivera has already made history as the first Latino coach to win the AP NFL Coach of the Year Award.

He recently credited his Puerto Rican dad in an interview with Fox News Latino stating: “The biggest thing, and I get this from my father, is to stick to your core values. Don’t ever forget where you came from,” he says. “Something that I’ve also learned and believe is that if you want something in life, go get it – because they are not going to send a limo. And finally, I know this much: you truly don’t have all the answers. You have to communicate, collaborate, listen and discuss.”

 

 

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