Athol High School basketball team manager Colby Newcombe won’t ever forget what happened on the hardwood on Wednesday night.
Neither will fans who were able to witness one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship the region has seen in quite some time, according to Athol Daily News’ Josh Talbot.
With the Red Raiders leading 69-53 with under a minute to go, Newcombe, who suffers from cerebral palsy, came off the bench. The Raiders had something up their sleeve — a designed play to get Newcombe the rock for a chance to drain his first-career high school bucket.
Newcombe missed his first two shots, as Talbot points out, with the second rebound landing in the hands of Mahar’s Xavier Godette. What happened next surprised just about everyone.
“As members of both teams sprinted down to the other end of the court,” Talbot explains, “Godette calmly bounced a pass over to Newcombe who would eventually score his first hoop.”
“On behalf of the Athol High School community and supporters of interscholastic athletics, we would like to send a sincere thank you to Xavier Godette and the Mahar Senators basketball program for showing such an incredible act of kindness,” Athol High School athletic director David P. King told the Athol Daily News. “Colby has been a member of our boys program since his seventh grade year, attending practices and games just like every other member of our program. His determination and positive attitude has always been an inspiration for his teammates. I’m hopeful last night’s gesture by Xavier will be an inspiration for others.”
“Our kids were being respectful of Colby and allowing him to take a couple of shots and then [Godette] made a great decision,” Mahar head coach Chad Softic explained. “It was a decision that was bigger than basketball and it helped get Colby to score. That decision didn’t come from the bench and it showed Xavier’s character. Our administration preaches sportsmanship and it’s nice to see it on display.”
Check out the video below.
Thumbnail via Facebook/Colby Newcombe