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Journey takes Shaheen back to football

A passion and love for football inspired a change in direction for Adam Shaheen.

After one year as a basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, the Bears second-round draft pick transferred to Division II Ashland University to play basketball.

"I mean I still love basketball, but I really love football," Shaheen said.

The former self-proclaimed "skinny" basketball player is now a 6-foot-6, 278-pound rookie with the Bears. The 45th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Shaheen is profiled in "Meet the Rookies," a four-part series on

"I just really missed hitting somebody and playing football," said Shaheen.

In the piece, Shaheen goes back to his high school roots to talk to young athletes about his journey.

"My dad always said the harder you work, the luckier you get," Shaheen said. "I've always kind of taken that into consideration and loved the journey and loved the grind."

Drawing comparisons in size to New England star tight end Rob Gronkowski, Shaheen has the skill set and potential to become an immediate contributor and future impact player.

The Bears launched their four-part "Meet The Rookies" series on Monday. In addition to Shaheen, other players featured are quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, defensive lineman Rashaad Coward and running back Tarik Cohen.

The series, brought to you by the Chicago Tribune, tells the story of each player's journey to the National Football League in their own words. This marks the third year of "Meet the Rookies."

The series is also featured on the Bears official app and Bears social media channels. It will culminate with a 30-minute special comprised of all four episodes on WFLD FOX 32 at 9:30 p.m. Friday.

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