LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Before most of are out of bed, Kevin Sherman is assigned a garbage truck.
His alarm rings by 3 a.m. His day starts by 5.
For nearly 28 years, Sherman has picked up trash in South Los Angeles, even though his son is the now-famous NFL star Richard Sherman, who just signed a $56 million contract after twice taking the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
Despite his son’s success, not much of Kevin Sherman’s day job has changed over the years.
“I always tell my kids to finish,” he told CBS2/KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin. “It’s all about finishing what I started.”
He taught that same philosophy as a dad as he raised Richard and his two other children at their Compton home.
When it came to his kids, Sherman was always there, making sure they ignored the drug dealer next door and pushing Richard to earn a 4.1 grade point average.
He says one of his proudest moments was when Richard graduated from Stanford University.
“Football and all that’s fun, but education is always first,” said Sherman. “I didn’t want them to become adults and have a past that haunts them all the way through the rest of their life … like me.”
As a teen, Kevin Sherman was shot three times. A Go-Kart accident left him without fluid in his right eye. In April, his pickup was hit by a train.
But through it all, Sherman says he keeps going.
And, he says, he’s still always there to support his son.
“It’s not all of what you do in practice. It’s what you do after practice. The extra little work,” said Sherman. “I talk to him before every game. I just tell him keep your head up and go have some fun.”
Sherman is a proud father who, like many parents, gave his children a chance to rise to their potential simply by setting the right example.
But if you had asked him about his life’s path nearly three decades ago, he says he would not have guessed that he and his wife would move into a multimillion-dollar home in Orange County.
But that’s just what they did after Sherman says his wife and son insisted.
And while he’s thankful for the house his son bought them, Sherman is just as insistent that he kept working, at least until last year.
“I don’t want my son to worry about my medical [insurance], none of that,” he said. “I want my son to be able to enjoy his life on his terms.
“What he’s done for me so far is more than enough for me.”