Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman went from playing in rapper Snoop Dogg's football league to the NFL.
Hillman grew up in Compton, California.
Snoop founded the Snoop Youth Football League, a nonprofit organization that gives inner-city children, five to 13 years old, a chance to play football and cheer. Hillman played on one of those teams ten years ago.
"He had a lot to do with the players and he was a mentor to a lot of players I know," Hillman said. "You can definitely tell he loves the kids."
Hillman said he still remember some of the advice he got from Snopp as a kid. “Just go out there and play," Hillman recalls. "It stuck with me since I was a kid.”
Snoop calls Hillman his baby.
"He [Snopp] could’ve done plenty of things with his money, but he was just giving back and being supportive of the kids and just trying to get them out the neighborhood. You notice that stuff," Hillman said.
Hillman was drafted by the Broncos in the third round (67th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Suddenly, the boy who grew up in the inner-city and went to college in sunny San Diego was moving to snowy Colorado.
"It's cold, it's cold in Denver," Hillman told Denver7 this week. "It's cold, but [you] gotta [sic] do it."
Hillman is bringing his mom, his dad, his grandma and his little brother to the game on Sunday. He said his dad is his hero.
"He raised us by himself in Compton," Hillman said after his parents divorced.
Hillman has played four years with the Broncos. All of them with Peyton Manning as quarterback. He said Manning is quite the prankster.
"That's what he do [sic], he likes to play jokes," Hillman said.
He also said a couple of guys on the team make him laugh.
"A few of the guys -- T.J., Talib, lot of funny guys on the team."
But most importantly, he says he's ready for Sunday's game.
"I’m focused and I’m ready to go," Hillman said. "We know we got to stay focused even with all this extra attention, but my mind is locked in on Sunday.”
When asked for one word to describe being at the Super Bowl, his answer was simple - "Awesome."