Russell Wilson says his father’s illness and passing have always been tied to his successful football career.

Wilson recently caught up with Barstool Sports‘ “Pardon My Take” podcast. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback discussed his football career and how his late father Harrison Wilson III was intrinsically tied to the football star’s professional journey. It all began with Wilson’s commitment to North Carolina State University.

“I’ll never forget I was in a Dick’s Sporting Goods at the time in Richmond, Virginia, and I told my dad, I said, ‘Hey, hey, Dad, I’m going to have my number, you know, retired there one day,'” Wilson recalled. “I didn’t know my dad was going to get sick. My dad got terribly sick. He had his leg amputated, he had diabetes. And it was a heavy thing.”

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“My dad used to always say to me, ‘Son, you know, why not you, why not you? Why don’t you become this? Why don’t you become that?’ And that was why we created the Why Not You Foundation,” he continued. “Because it was the driving force behind everything in my life, to be honest with you.”

Shortly after, Wilson’s father began suffering from fatally severe complications from diabetes.

“So my dad gets really sick, gets his leg amputated, suffers a stroke, goes into a coma and they said he’s not going to live for another, you know, not going to live at all,” he continued. “Next thing you know, he wakes up right in front of the doctors.”

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“Even though the doctor when he woke up, the doctor said he would never be able to see a game, he’d never be able to see anything again, he’d never be able to talk again,” Wilson shared. “Well, if God isn’t so amazing! He was able to walk, he was able to come see a game, is able to come see my games. And if I wasn’t at NC State, he wouldn’t have been able to see that.”

That road eventually led to his transfer to the 2011 Wisconsin Badgers football team.

“It was June 9, 2011. My dad passed away [on] June 9, 2010. June 9th, 2011,” Wilson explained. “I go to fly to Wisconsin, I get there and sure enough, I don’t meet Barry Alvarez. And that’s when I knew I was like, this is where this is a year later after my dad passed away. So this is where I’m supposed to play.”