Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mary Sullivan

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:

http://www.thestar.com/sports/2013/02/27/mitchell_marcus_sinks_one_basket_and_lifts_crowds_hearts.html

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?

14 comments:

Rogenna Brewer said...

You have me reaching for a tissue this morning, Mary.

Kaelee said...

Thank you so much for posting this story. It would be so wonderful if there were more good news stories around. Like Rogenna I was reaching for a tissue.

mary sullivan said...

But in a good way, right, Rogenna? :-)

mary sullivan said...

Kaelee, I'm always on the lookout for good news stories. They lift my spirits.

Pamela Hearon said...

Thanks for posting this, Mary. I heard the story about the basketball game, but I didn't ever read the whole thing. So glad to have the link to go to. The indominable Anne Frank wrote in her diary: "In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart."
I agree--no matter what our news programs try to get us to believe.

kris said...

Loved this the first time I saw it, and it's absolutely one that is worthy of repeat readings/viewings. We all need to hear more wonderful things like this.

mary sullivan said...

Lovely quote, Pamela, especially considering the source.

mary sullivan said...

Kris, I watched the video again when I was writing the blog and got very teary again. There are a lot of good people in the world despite, as Pamela said, what the news programs would have us believe.

There's also a lot of bad press about teenagers, so it's great to see this adolescent's act of kindness get such widespread recognition!

Snookie said...

That story was so cool. It was making the rounds of FB on my family's pages over the last couple of weeks. Mahalo for leaving the link here for all of us. Not everyone is on FB. It was beautiful story and had me reaching for tissues too. It is so good to see that there are kind and good-hearted people in this world. It is sad the way that athletes are letting us all down with their lying and antics. So many children want look up to them and want to be like them and a lot of them are not setting good examples. As to acts of kindness, my niece just today had her lunch paid for by some unknown to her person!

linda s said...

So touching. Thanks for sharing.
Our city is home to many new immigrants, particularly from Asia and English is not the first language of over half of our city. Two years ago, on a very dark rainy November night, I fell in a dark corner of the mall parking lot and broke my shoulder. An ethnically mixed group of teenagers rushed to my aide. They crawled around the wet pavement and gathered all the contents of my purse and put everything back inside. And another man held up his cell phone... "I call 911" he said a little frantically "but I no speak English." As one of the teenagers with green hair and multiple piercings took his cell and gave directions for the ambulance, I thanked him. They all stayed with me in the pouring rain, holding their umbrella over me until the ambulance came. Then they melted away into the night. They wouldn't tell me their names, but I do wish I could have called their mothers. I was so proud of them. Kids at the mall on a Friday night.

Mary Preston said...

I saw this on the Internet & was so impressed. It's such a beautiful & kind act. So feel good.

mary sullivan said...

Snookie, wonderful stories like these need to be spread around, don't they? Great story about your niece!

mary sullivan said...

Linda, thank you so much for sharing your awesome story--not that you broke your shoulder, but that you had such amazing helpers! Just wonderful.

Yes, who would think that would happen with teenagers at the mall on a Friday night? We underestimate them too often!

Linda Henderson said...

I had heard this story before and thought that it was a very inspirational story. Here in Joplin Missouri we still see and hear of amazing acts of kindness every day. There are still a lot of volunteers coming to our city even though our tornado was in May 2011. These people come to our city expecting nothing in return but help people get back into their homes, or into a new home that they help build. It's been amazing.

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