Ward and his teammates surprised guests of the CityTeam Men’s Program and House of Grace on November 20, 2018, at Levi’s Stadium. The group believed they were just taking a tour of the stadium, but they were in fact joining the 49ers players for a night full of exciting events. The guests received a makeover and haircut, selected a new outfit from Dockers, snapped a new headshot and then shared a Thanksgiving dinner with the 49ers players.
Growing up in Mobile, AL, Ward knew when to separate himself from others in his neighborhood. Said Ward, “From where I come from, the neighborhood that I grew up in, a lot of people don’t make it out. There’s a lot of stuff. They either flunk out of school, end up having a child so they have to drop out of school and raise that child, or end up going to jail. It really just made me want to do something more than what my peers were doing.” Ward would later surround himself with positive influences.
Ward’s family is no stranger to professional athletics. He is the cousin of former NBA player, Caron Butler. Butler, 10 years older than Ward, watched him grow up in Racine, WI, prior to Ward’s move to Mobile, AL.
While playing youth football, Ward went by the nickname ‘Neko’ and was teammates with former Alabama QB AJ McCarron with the Mobile Youth Football’s Municipal Raiders. He played linebacker for the team that won multiple Youth Bowl Championships in Mobile.