Friday, February 20, 2009

One for the good guys

Isn’t it funny how things always happen in twos or threes? I just shared an email on Tuesday on my Happy At Home blog about the same subject that I read about in the news this morning. The subject: kindness, selflessness, the good guys.

The email (which you can read by clicking on the words Happy At Home above) was about a young man that was mentally and physically disabled. One day passing the baseball field he told his father he wanted to play. His father was afraid of how the other kids would treat his son but let him play anyway. He was rewarded for his trust when the children on both teams intentionally allowed him to make a home run when in reality what he hit was an easy out. The children put aside the goal of winning so that that boy could be a hero. I cried when I read it; it was that sweet.

The story I read this morning was about basketball instead of baseball but the same story played out.

The DeKalb Illinois High School basketball team rode two and a half hours to play in a non-conference game against a team in Milwaukee. It was to be the third time these two teams met up. The game started late. And it was close. But the Milwaukee team had other things on their minds.

A senior that played on the Milwaukee team was dealing with matters much more important than a basketball game. He was losing his mother. Johntel Franklin’s mother Carlitha had been fighting cervical cancer for five years but her fight was sadly over. She began hemorrhaging that morning and by the afternoon the decision was made to turn off the life-support system. She was only 39 when she died.

The teams coach was with Johntel at the hospital. He wanted to cancel the game but Johntel told him no. He wanted to play. Honoring the boy’s wishes, the coach took him to the game that was already in the second quarter. Because Johntel was not on the pre-game roster the other team would be given two free throws if he was allowed to play. He wanted to play.

What happened next was an incredible show of sportsmanship by the other team. They intentionally missed the free throws even though it could have given them an advantage. The boy that made the shots was quoted as saying “I did it for the guy who lost his mom. It was the right thing to do.”

It was the right thing to do and even though I don’t personally know the boys that played that night, I am extremely proud of them. They reminded me that good guys DO still exist and even during a tragedy something good can happen.


Wendy said...

Aw, this is so wonderful! I'm gonna post a link to this post from my Spread Change blog. Maybe it will inspire someone! :)

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Beautiful. It restores your faith in people when something like this happens.

Ryan B said...

This story definitely does fit in with Awesome Sports Stories. I'm glad you linked me here. I'm looking forward to checking out more of your blog. Keep it up. God Bless.

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