Mr. Hightower attended Episcopal for two years, where he earned six varsity letters. He started on the football team as running back and served as captain his senior year when the team went 5-4 — 5-1 with Mr. Hightower on the field, as he missed three games due to a foot injury — with a highlight being a 35-7 win over Woodberry.
As a senior, he was awarded All-IAC and First Team All-State honors. He was also named the Alexandria Sportsman’s Club’s Athlete of the Month and the city’s Athlete of the Year for Football.
In addition to football, he played guard on the basketball team where he was a tough defender and rebounder. He also competed in the 100 meter and 4x100 relay as a junior and earned All-IAC distinction in track and field.
Off the field, Mr. Hightower was a Monitor.
After Episcopal, Mr. Hightower went on to have a stellar career at the University of Richmond, where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
He has enjoyed a long career in the NFL, playing 77 games for the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, and New Orleans Saints. He scored the winning touchdown in the 2009 NFC Championship Game, sending his team at the time, the Cardinals, to Super Bowl XLIII where they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2011, a knee injury interrupted his career for several years, but Mr. Hightower returned to action late in the 2015 season with the New Orleans Saints. “Everything he’s been through, the injuries, just to be able to bounce back when people told him time after time that he wasn’t going to be able to play again, and just have that drive, that inner will just to succeed and not to be denied, I admire that,” said Saints teammate Mark Ingram. On December 27 of that season Mr. Hightower rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns in one of the best performances of his career.
Mr. Hightower has returned to the Hill on numerous occasions to speak in Callaway Chapel and to talk with members of the football team.