MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of Twin Cities kids not only spent two days at a football camp led by an NFL player — but they also went shopping with him.

Larry Fitzgerald Jr. of the Arizona Cardinals teamed up with Dick’s Sporting Goods Tuesday to reward some deserving young athletes.

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Fitzgerald grew up in the Twin Cities and played football for the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield before he went pro in 2004. Each summer he returns home to lead a youth football camp.

He is known for his talents as a wide receiver, but he also has a reputation for being a giver.

“That’s really what it’s about, it’s about giving the opportunity to kids who might not have the opportunity to do some of those things,” Fitzgerald said. “I was one of those kids that needed a little help from time to time.”

He says he sees himself in the children he coaches in summer football camps in Minnesota and Arizona, and he makes a point to tell them that.

“I’m no different, so if you believe and you work hard, you can achieve anything you set your mind to,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m very approachable. They can come ask me questions. I mean, that’s what I am here for.”

Dick’s Sporting Goods is a sponsor of the football camps. At their Richfield store, Fitzgerald accompanied ten kids who were chosen to go on a shopping spree with $100 gift cards.

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He believes football can teach kids life skills.

“In life you’re going to get knocked down, but you got to continue to get back up. You’re going to face adversity, you’re going to be down, there are going to be highs. You have to be able to weather the storm and be able to deal with everything that comes with it,” Fitzgerald said. “I think football teaches a lot of those character traits.”

Minneapolis sixth grader Dubem Anunike went home with some new gear, and some valuable advice.

“If you work on what you want to be, then he said that it will come true,” Anunike said.

Fitzgerald’s First Down Fund gives money to many charities that help kids and families. He has also made several trips with the Starkey Foundation to help fit kids with hearing aids.

And he is a big supporter of several breast cancer organizations since losing his mother to the disease when he was still in college.

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Fitzgerald owns a home in Minnesota, and his father — sports journalist Larry Fitzgerald Sr. — still lives here.