A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And now, a GOOD sportsmanship basketball story

Character. That's what sports are supposed to instill:
Winning is "not a matter of life and death," according to the venerable sporting adage coined by former UCLA football coach Red Saunders, "it's more important than that." The reality, of course, is the exact opposite, and that fact was vividly illustrated by the actions of the high school basketball players and coaches of DeKalb, Ill., and Milwaukee Madison earlier this month.

During the day of their match-up, Milwaukee's captain, Johntel Franklin (pictured here) had the misfortune of being at his mother's bedside when she succumbed to a five-year battle with cervical cancer. Understandably, he decided to skip the game, but later Franklin changed his mind.

In the second quarter, he arrived late in what was a close game. Because Franklin was not scheduled to play, DeKalb were awarded two free throws for a technical foul. DeKalb's Darius McNeal stepped to the line, and proceeded to purposely miss the shots, bouncing the ball several times on their way to the baseline. McNeal's attempts were rewarded with a standing ovation from players and fans from both teams.

Franklin eventually scored 10 points as Milwaukee won comfortably. Afterwards, players from both teams went out for pizza together. McNeal's take on his meaningful missed shots: "I did it for the guy who lost his mom ... it was the right thing to do."

And if you didn't get a lump in your throat, you've got a heart of lead.



At 2/22/09, 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if we could only get this sort of action to the national level, we'd be fine. Honors and respect to both teams and coaches.

Perhaps we should recruit these young men to national service in Washington. They do the right thing.

At 2/24/09, 9:25 PM, Blogger Lking4truth said...

Very touching story...Glad to see camaraderie still exists in sports. Here is a link to this Sunday's comic strip of "Pearls before Swine" that illustrates the not so nice side of sports.


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