WAKEFIELD, Mich. (WJMN) – A high school basketball player from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is being recognized for a quiet act of kindness last week toward a member of the opposing team.
Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals varsity forward Matt Montie noticed a player on the Dollar Bay Blue Bolts junior varsity team was playing in shoes that weren’t meant for basketball.
Friday night after Wakfield-Marenisco’s game against Dollar Bay, Montie did the unexpected and gave the other player his shoes – a gift that even his coach, Terry Fetters, didn’t find out about until later.
Montie said he didn’t get the chance to talk to the player, but wanted to make sure he was able to play in true basketball shoes, a LeBron James model from Nike.
“I was changing and I gave them to one of our JV kids and he gave them to their athletic director because he had already went home,” said Montie. “It feels pretty good to help somebody out, I guess.”
Fetters said he was stunned to find out one of his players did something amazing following the game.
“My wife was on Facebook and she had mentioned to me, ‘Why didn’t you tell me what Matthew did last night?” Fetters recalled. “I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ When she showed me the Facebook page, I just couldn’t believe it. I was blown away.”
“Usually, I know everything and for me not to know that, I must have been in the locker room or something,” said Fetters. “I just couldn’t believe he had done that, but it doesn’t surprise me because he is a good young man.”
Monte explained what inspired him to add the biggest assist to that night’s stat sheet after the final buzzer.
“I just remember being young and not being able to afford nicer shoes for basketball and I know how bad it sucked,” Monte said. “Basketball shoes are a necessity. I’ve rolled a lot of ankles not wearing the right shoes for the right things.”
This selfless act didn’t go unnoticed.
“Sunday night, when we had practice I had a little team meeting and I had discussed what Matthew had done on Friday night,” Fetters said. “You know, I told the team and the JV team also, I said not only does it make Matthew look good and being a good person, but it makes us all look good. Not only our teams, our school, but our whole community. So, I was very proud of him for that.”
Montie said he hopes the shoes will help.
“Ankle support is one of the biggest things. I play football and my ankles are so bad now. If i don’t wear high top shoes they will roll right away,” said Montie.
“The kid’s got such a big heart. You know, he would do that for anybody,” said Fetters.
“I wore those shoes for a couple of years. They were nice shoes. I hope he really likes them,” Montie said.