During a typical Minnesota Timberwolves game (disclaimer: I'm a season ticket holder), a lot of individuals are introduced to the fans for accomplishing special feats. Almost all of them are ignored by players, who, understandably, are in the middle of their workday.
Last night was an exception. After Nick Van Denburgh of St. Francis was introduced to the crowd during a Timberwolves timeout, point guard Luke Ridnour made it a point to run over to him and give him a fist bump. It was a small, but very significant moment.
Today, we know a little more why, thanks to Timberwolves editor Mark Remme, who pens a profile of the young man. He's going to the NBA All Star festivities in Houston to play some basketball. And he inspires even hardened NBA players, apparently.
I "worked" the game last night.
We walk into the arena about 90 minutes prior to the start of the game. My habit is to spend that time reading.
Last night, my partner was watching what was happening during the pre-game festivities.
"Who's that guy?" he asked.
"What guy?" I responded, looking up from my Kindle.
"That guy, over there, trying to shoot a basketball."
"I dunno. Must be a Rapper or something....," I said as I went back to my reading.
After some additional comments on how inept he was, my co-worker got up and asked around to find out just who the fellow was.
He came back saying, "Now I feel bad. The guy I was making fun of is a Special Olympian."
Well, he didn't feel nearly as bad as I did-or do now. At least he had enough interest to find out what was going on - I (supposedly) had better things to do.
I'm the grandfather of a special needs grand daughter. I thank the Timberwolves for spot-lighting Nick Van Denburgh. Hopefully, those in attendance gave Nick more attention than I did.