New Iberia Senior High School student Markell Gregoire, who announced Kenny Vaccaro as the Saints first round pick at the 2013 NFL Draft, died Saturday after a long battle with cancer. He was 16.
In 2009, Gregoire was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Gregoire was selected by St. Jude's to fly to New York for night one of the NFL Draft in 2013. As part of the experience, the Iberia Parish native stood on the Radio City Music Hall stage to announce the Saints first round pick in front of a national television audience.
Coach Sean Payton called Gregoire shortly after the selection to thank him for making the announcement and invited him to visit the team in New Orleans. Gregoire attended a few Saints practices and games and developed a friendship with Payton and the players.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Markell," the Saints released in a statement. "He was a true Saints fan and he showcased an incredible spirit when he visited us. We send our prayers to the family and friends of Markell."
Markell Gregoire, who announced Kenny Vaccaro as the Saints first round pick at the 2013 NFL Draft, attended the team's walkthrough on November 9, 2013. Photos taken by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)