Don Jones, a free safety on the San Francisco 49ers, returned to his home state of Alabama to take 18-year-old Lindsey Preston—who has Down syndrome—to the big dance at Lawrence County High School in Moulton. Preston’s mother, Kristi Martin, reached out to the NFL player though Jones’ mother, an aide to special needs students at the school, according to Al.com.
Though Martin asked Jones if he wanted to go to the dance with Preston last year, his schedule with the team kept him from attending. But Jones promised her he would do it “no matter what” this year, and he lived up to his word.
“Lindsey always stayed in contact with me and the family,” Jones told WBRC. “Her mother asked me to go to prom with her last year so I told her I would be more than glad to.”
Following prom tradition, before they headed to the dance Friday night, 27-year-old Jones and Preston posed for adorable pictures that featured Jones in a dapper black suit, and Preston in an elegant black dress. Needless to say, the duo were the most popular guests of the night.
“All of the guys followed me around all night and I was just glad I could dance and put smiles on the kid’s faces,” Jones told the news station.
Some 6,000 children are born with Down syndrome every year in the United States, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Jones played football for Arkansas State before he was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. Since then, he has been signed by the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, and the Houston Texans, before joining the 49ers last year.
With the 49ers still a few months out from the start of the NFL’s preseason—with their new player, Richard Sherman—it seems like Jones was able to have a fun night out on the town.
“Anything I can do to make some kids smile, I would be more than willing to do,” Jones told WBRC. “I think the most fun was all of the guys, I showed the guys about 5 or 6 new dance moves.”