I read a story the other day that warmed my heart.
We hear so much these days about poor behaviour in sports that I miss a time when good sportsmanship meant something. Players seem to be involved in the big major leagues more for their huge paychecks than for love of the game.
In El Paso, Texas, the coach of a local high school basketball team has a team favourite, his team manager Mitchell Marcus, who is a developmentally disabled student at the school. Mitchell adores basketball and his team members like and respect him.
In the last game of the regular season, with the team's full support, the coach surprised Mitchell by giving him his own team jersey and putting him in the game to play, an absolute dream for Mitchell. Unfortunately, whenever he was passed the ball, he missed the basket. Then, with less than a minute left in the game, a player from the opposing team made the conscious decision to pass the ball to Mitchell, who took it and dropped it into the basket, scoring for his team.
The crowd went wild!
Here's the full heartwarming story if you want to read it, including a video of him sinking the ball:
I had to reach for a tissue when I read this. Seriously. I cried.
We need our uplifting stories. We need to see life working at its best. We need to witness acts of generosity. I mean, that kid from the opposing team gifted Mitchell with an astonishing act of kindness. He didn't have to. Someday, that player is going to be an amazing man.
I read a comment at the end of one of the versions of this story from one newspaper, in which it was stated that the two teams playing that day are usually bitter rivals. I don't know whether that's true, but at the very least, teams are there to do everything they can to advance their own interests and not those of the opposing team.
The team was down in points and Mitchell's basket didn't win the game, but what a great story.
It occurred to me that this would be a great plot point in a novel. The coach could be the hero and the boy who called Mitchell's name and passed the ball to him could be part of a subplot—a great pair of heroes.
Have you witnessed any acts of kindness that lifted your spirits and renewed your faith in those around you?