The news can be depressing at times. Thankfully, the sports world usually isn’t. Yahoo Sports is taking a weekly look at the true spirit of sport — the highlights that will warm your heart and the acts of kindness that go beyond the game.
Come on. Let’s take a load off together.
Young fan’s actions make a woman’s day
We here at The Good Sport have been known to provide readers with stories that may result in a few tears shed. Stories that simply put smiles on faces and cause people’s vision to become a bit blurry. It’s what we do. (Yes, that was your warning.)
A young gentleman at an NHL game this week has us all feeling warm inside. While taking in warm-ups before the Anaheim Ducks hosted the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center, the young fan got a puck by Flames goaltender Mike Smith.
But instead of keeping the biscuit for himself, he ended up giving it to a woman standing nearby. Following some convincing, she accepted and things got a little emotional.
— z – Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 4, 2019
The amazing thing about this moment is how genuine it is. He handed over the puck out of the goodness of his heart, and there’s no way he could have known that the Sportnet’s cameras would capture it all.
Well done, kid.
Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to shine off the court
The man they call ‘The Greek Freak’ has been putting together a season to remember. Quite simply, the 24-year-old forward has been a monster for the Milwaukee Bucks.
While the three-time All Star has been providing fans with plenty of reasons to be excited whenever he’s on the hardwood, it’s been what he’s been doing away from the game that has impressed as of late.
Earlier this week, a young fan brought some of her artwork to an autograph signing and the two shared a beautiful moment. Then, just a few days ago, Antetokounmpo made another fan’s day something to remember.
Following a Bucks game, he met with Jacarrie Carr of Jacarrie Kicks for Kids and Dell Henderson, one of Carr’s students, as reported by WISN.
Carr’s organization transforms gently used shoes into works of art and the two wanted to present Antetokounmpo with a pair of custom kicks that they had created for him.
After giving him with the sneakers, Henderson built up the confidence to ask a question.
“Dell was like, ‘Oh, my God, Giannis, you’re like my favourite player. This would truly mean the world to me. Can I have your jacket?'” Carr said to WISN.
Antetokounmpo was more than willing to give the teenager what he asked for.
That will surely be a moment that he will never forget.
Is it just us or does this remind you of a famous Coca-Cola commercial where a professional athlete also gave a young fan a piece of clothing off his back?
Islanders’ goaltender shares a touching moment with courageous fan
There are few NHL players more inspiring than Robin Lehner.
The New York Islanders netminder reportedly is opening up about his struggles with mental health and substance abuse, which had him on the brink of taking his own life last season when he was playing with the Buffalo Sabres. After getting the help he needed, the 27-year-old Swede shared details about his journey in an article that he wrote for The Athletic back in September.
Since then, Lehner has had the best season of his NHL career, partnering with Thomas Greiss to lead New York back to the postseason.
While his story is incredible, so too is the story of one of his biggest fans on Long Island.
The day before the Islanders’ clash with the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this week, a young boy named Jack Foley shared a very special video for Lehner on social media.
After being born with literally only 1/2 of a heart & having 3 open heart surgeries all before the age of 2, Jack is playing hockey, something doctors said he wouldn’t do! @RobinLehner can you help him complete his checklist at Monday’s game? @NYIslanders pic.twitter.com/il1NPav8lX
— Lauren Kiefer-Foley (@lkieferfoley) March 31, 2019
The seven-year-old’s video went viral overnight, and for good reason.
Born with half a heart, Foley has been a fighter his whole life and defying the odds along the way. While all he asked for in the video was a stick to complete his checklist, Lehner provided him with so much more following the 2-1 loss to Toronto.
Tough loss.. But this was a huge win. Your a strong kid and I wish you the best! Thanks Jack.❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/aSWkSDIEeg
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) April 2, 2019
“I’m going to go meet a fantastic human being and see what life’s about,” Lehner said before meeting Foley, according to Pat Pickens of NHL.com. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to put a smile on my face and make me forget about this one.”
More Sports coverage on Yahoo Sports