Minnesotans take their high school basketball tournaments seriously. (My father often proudly reminded me how he got to play in the state championship, even though he was from a small town near the Canada border). It’s been a long cold winter, so basketball has seemed really important this year.
Part of the lesson for student athletes is to learn how to win and lose gracefully. It’s never easy. So when a few of the Hopkins High School basketball players came in second place, narrowly missing their claim to the state title, they were filled with disgust and ungraciously removed their second place medals.
But when their student manager, Grant Peterson, heard his name called, he jumped up and down with joy. Upon receipt of the second place medal, he gave a double thumbs up to his parents and sister sitting in the stands. Grant, who was born with Down syndrome, showed the entire arena his infectious spirit and enthusiasm for the sport. Grant helped teach his Minnesota high school teammates what true sportsmanship is all about. I am sure it is a lesson they will never forget.
Now, maybe we need to send Grant to Moscow to give Putin a tutorial.