Wakefield, Michigan High School Basketball Player Gives His Shoes To Help Opponent
We could all learn a lesson in sportsmanship and kindness from Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals varsity forward Matt Montie.
Let's start off with a little background information. Wakefield-Marenisco is in the northwestern part of the U.P. The Cardinals were taking on Dollar Bay last Friday when Matt Montie showed us all how sometimes sportsmanship can be bigger than the actual game.
Montie was watching the JV game before he took the floor and noticed that a player from Dollar Bay's JV team was wearing shoes that were not really safe for basketball. Some people might have taken the opportunity to make fun of the other player, or even use it as a competitive advantage on the court. Montie didn't do either of those things, he waited until after his game and gave the player from Dollar Bay the shoes off his feet.
My favorite part about this whole story is that Montie didn't make a big spectacle of his kindness. He didn't pull out his phone and record himself doing something nice, in fact, he didn't even tell his coach what he had done. Matt simply saw that another player was putting himself at risk of injury, and decided to help him.
I can't tell you how much this makes me smile.
Matt asked a member of his own JV team to take the shoes to the Dollar Bay Athletic Director, because the player he was giving the shoes to had already left. When he knew they were delivered, he went on about his normal business. It wasn't until practice the next day when Matt's coach learned about what happened. The coach didn't hear about it from Matt though, he heard about it from his wife who had saw something about it on Facebook.
Mat will probably never go on to play in the NBA, but I think he deserves as much recognition as many of the players that do. His small act of kindness is exactly why sports are so much bigger than just the game.
I salute you Matt, and thank you for having the empathy and humility to take action when someone needs help.