Wes Leonard scored the final basket in the final game of the regular season and then he died.
The score was tied going into overtime. The Fennville Blackhawks had won 19 out of 19 games. A perfect season hung in the balance, and then Wes scored 4 points for the win.
That was in 2011.
This past Friday afternoon the hub and I drove to Hope College in Holland, Michigan to attend the 6th Annual Wes Leonard Heart Team Never Forgotten Game: Fennville vs. Saugatuck.
At halftime Wes’ former teammates lined up mid-court.
And presented a portable AED machine to representatives from 20 High Schools.
The hub, blurry in my haste to snap a pic before he sat down, was one of them.
Before the game we were taught how to use the device and instructed in the importance of maintaining fresh batteries. Wes’ school had a device the night he died but the battery was dead.
At the end of the game the fans from both schools – rivals – chanted Wes-ley Leo-nard, just as they have at the end of every game these past six years.
I love this family and this community – who have come together to get life saving information, legislation and devices into every Michigan school.
Since Holland is about a 3 hour drive, we spent the night.
In the morning, as we walked into town in search of the perfect cafe miel – and it was perfect – we came upon this sculpture. Which is another reason I love this town.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
If you didn’t watch the video, scroll back up and watch it. With a hanky.