UP Catholic 07 15 2016 E Edition Page 5

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY July 15, 2016 5 T he beauty of sport, or perhaps life in general, is that win- ners can and do emerge from losers. We see it all the time. Athletes hum- bly succumb to defeat, only to take the painful lessons theyve learned and turn it into something positive. Aficionados of professional basket- ball watched Stephen Curry and the Golden State War- riors forge a 3-to-1 series lead against the Cleveland Cav- aliers in the NBA inals. On the door- step of history, with an opportunity to win consecutive NBA crowns, the Warriors proceeded to lose three straight games and, ultimately, the best-of-seven series. We watched Curry hang his head in defeat, and yes, some of us wondered how hed overcome such a stunning, improbable loss. The truth is, in the game of life the one that counts far more than 3-point- ers and uncontested layups Curry was already a winner for making an incredible difference in the lives of two teenagers. Only months prior, Curry, the cool-shooting point guard with a magnificent stroke to accompany a folden smile, was helping shape the lives of two strangers he had never met before. In North Carolina, 14-year-old Ashley Wagner was battling leukemia. Right there with her, through most of her chemotherapy treatments and doctor visits, was her twin brother Grant. The experience of watching his sister endure the treatments and struggle for life took an emotional toll on Grant. Ashley knew as much and wanted to do something to help him. As part of the ESPNs My Wish series, she wrote in, requesting that her beloved brother meet Curry, one of his favorite players. Recognizing that her experience with cancer also affected her twin brother, Ashley made an incredibly selfless act by giving her wish to her brother. First, Curry surprised Ashley with a video message. I was really impressed that you wanted to share this wish with your twin brother Grant, Curry said. Then, it gets better. Ashley and Grant flew to Oakland and met the two-time NBA MVP and his wife, Ayesha, at the teams practice facility. They played miniature golf togeth- er, and were given front row seats to watch the team defeat the Washington Wizards. They got to hang out with the guys, pose for pictures and eat together. It was hard to distinguish whose smile was bigger. Currys, for giving back in a loving, Christian kind of way, or Grants, for being afforded an opportunity of a lifetime that only childhood kids dream about. Its easy to look at professional athletes and see the immense amount of material gifts they are surrounded with. But, when life gets upturned and bad news interjects, all the money, all the houses, all the expensive cars really dont matter. Happiness lies in ones heart, and even if their experience in Oakland only lasted a few days, Ashley and Grant were in the company of caring God-loving people to laugh, to play, to forget what ailed them. We see Stephen Currys immense God-given talent nightly. What we rarely see is the Curry who helped distribute boxes of toiletries and food to 400 hungry families in Oakland during Christmas or the Cur- ry who answered the call from a young firl and did his best to shed a positive light on a dark experience. Words will never express how excep- tionally moving that is. Its been said over and over again that money cannot buy happiness. But fiving ones time to those in need is always the best choice in the eyes of God. Curry proved that and more. (Editor's note: LaJoie is a mem- ber of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Negaunee. He welcomes reactions to his column at jlajoie@charter.net.) Curry comes up a winner in helping teenage twins FROM THE SIDELINES Jim LaJoie IT'S BEEN SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT MONEY CANNOT BUY HAPPINESS. BUT GIVING ONE'S TIME TO THOSE IN NEED IS ALWAYS THE BEST CHOICE IN THE EYES OF GOD. CURRY PROVED THAT AND MORE.

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