In a small gym in a small town, over the space of 55 seconds, a moment happened Feb. 1 that likely will live on forever.
It was there, on Wilmington High’s basketball court, that a team agreed to let an opposing player with special needs score a basket at the end of a game.
But it went so much beyond that. With the game in hand for the Greyhounds, Reynolds High senior Josh Loposky was given the chance to score four buckets — eight points in all — by Wilmington defender Ian Sullivan, who let him steal the ball over and over instead of taking it to the other end. One basket for Josh was agreed upon. The other three were unscripted.
The gesture brought the house down. Sullivan took it all in stride, saying it simply was the right thing to do.
Sullivan primarily is a junior varsity player for Wilmington. His sees very little varsity playing time on a senior-laden team. He could have used those points to pad his own statistics and better his chances for the future. Instead, he decided that his biggest contribution on the court that night was to be an act of kindness.
Reynolds coach Dan Kilgore was so overwhelmed by the moment, he rushed onto the court to thank Sullivan as Loposky leaped in the air and was mobbed by teammates. Loposky’s last-minute heroics made him the second-leading scorer on the night for his team.
Sullivan said following the game that he has learned by example from Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch, who Sullivan said instills in his players that there is more to a game than just winning. And if last Friday night was a teaching moment, then it was the student who had to make his teacher oh-so very proud.
It was a moment in time that players, coaches and fans who were in attendance say they will never forget.
We salute all parties involved in this act of selflessness. All of Wilmington High should be incredibly proud.