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, a $50 act of kindness made Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham an internet hero.
”It was crazy,” he said after the Cardinals went through voluntary workouts Tuesday. ”I really wasn’t expecting it.”
It all started when Gresham was standing in line behind Delilah Cassidy at an American Airlines gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
He could hear her being told that under the airline’s policy, she had to pay $25 for each of two carry-ons that wouldn’t fit under her seat. She had cash but it wasn’t accepted at the gate so she was in danger of missing her flight. So Gresham pulled out his credit card and paid, a random act of kindness.
”That’s pretty much what it was,” he said. ”I hope anyone would have done that. I don’t know. I just felt that’s how I was raised, my core values. Somebody in distress, just help them out. Nothing more, nothing less.”
To say Cassidy was grateful is an understatement.
”She was very nice,” Gresham said. ”She was very, very, very appreciative. She thanked me I want to say maybe 20 times.”
She told azcentral.com that she was in tears as she boarded the plane.
”I gave him this huge hug,” she said. ”I was crying into Jermaine Gresham. I didn’t know it was him.”
Cassidy said that when they landed, she offered to pay him in cash but he declined and told her to pay it forward.
She had her photo taken with Gresham and told her story on Twitter.
It went viral.
Gresham had no idea until he heard from a Cardinals employee who follows such things.
”He said Youth Dion Phaneuf Jersey
, `You’re a viral sensation,’ I said, `For what? I didn’t get arrested,”’ Gresham said. ”He sent me this picture and everything and I was like, `Oh, wow.”’
He seemed surprised that what he considered a small gesture wound up being such a big deal.
”I was right there,” he said. ”I had my wallet in my pocket. Just here, swipe my card. It’s 50 bucks. Catch your flight. There wasn’t much to it.”
Gresham, who is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, said he made a great investment.
”I hope everybody in the world would do something like that,” Gresham said. ”Seeing her smile and her appreciation was worth it 10 times over.”
Of course he couldn’t escape some gentle ribbing from teammates.
”That’s the Walter Payton Man of the Year right there,” offensive tackle D.J. Humphries said as he walked by.
KIRK SPEAKS: Rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk spoke to reporters for the first time since reports surfaced of his Feb. 3 arrest outside the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament on charges of destruction of property and disorderly conduct. He and a friend had been accused of throwing rocks at cars. Police said Kirk appeared intoxicated at the time.
The charges were later dropped.
”Obviously there was a negative response to it,” Kirk Charles Leno Jersey
, a second-round draft pick out of Texas A&M, said of the publicity surrounding the incident. ”But you’ve just got to block those things out and hold true to who you are and move on.”
Kirk was a top high school prospect born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Cardinals said they knew of the arrest when they drafted him but said they were confident it was not indicative of a larger problem.
”I told them the truth and they trusted in me, trusted in the type of person I was,” he said.
Now it’s back to football on a team where he figures to play a significant role.
”I’m just really happy it’s all cleared up,” Kirk said. ”I’m just glad to be back and showing people I am what I am.”
Donte DiVincenzo’s draft stock started rising after a breakout performance in the NCAA Tournament championship game.
Now the sixth man for Villanova’s title-winning squad is a first-round draft choice for one of the NBA’s up-and-coming teams. The Milwaukee Bucks selected DiVincenzo with the 17th overall pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night.
DiVincenzo fills a critical need for a perimeter shooter in Milwaukee, where he should feel comfortable coming off the bench as a rookie.
”And to watch him come off the bench the majority of the time and contribute and produce the way that he did, shows that he really not only says that he wants to play a role in winning and will sacrifice and do whatever it takes to win, but he actually did it,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. ”And not only did he do it, he did it at a high level.”
Starting just 10 games last year, DiVincenzo was named the top sixth man in the Big East after averaging 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. His 31-point outburst against Michigan in the title game Justin Abdelkader Jersey
, including five 3-pointers, helped scouts take notice of the 6-foot-5 sophomore.
They were also wowed by DiVincenzo’s combine-best 42-inch vertical leap. His athleticism fits a roster with a core led by All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 6-foot-11 forward with a 7-3 wingspan.
Perhaps most important to the Bucks, DiVincenzo shot 40 percent from 3-point range last season.
The Bucks shot 35.5 percent from 3-point range last season, tied for 21st in the NBA. They averaged just 8.8 3s a game, 27th in the league. Better shooting from teammates could give Antetokounmpo even more room to maneuver in the lane for a highlight-reel bucket.
”Unreal,” DiVincenzo said at the draft in Brooklyn when asked about playing with Antetokounmpo. ”My job is to just to go in there and make sure he has all the confidence in the world that I’m on the court with him.”
The Bucks had their pick of wings with shooting ability with the 17th pick, with Miami’s Lonnie Walker and Maryland’s Kevin Huerter also on the board. They could also use a rugged interior defender and rebounder.
But DiVincenzo was too good to pass up. He also played in a pro-style system at Villanova, which Horst said could help the guard get better acclimated to the NBA.
”But for us to be able to get him … a guy that has positional size, that can shoot, pass, dribble, defend at a high level http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-david-savard-jersey
, compete and, again, to win at a high level, he’s proven he can do that. Very excited to have him,” Horst said.
DiVincenzo will still have to earn playing time from Mike Budenholzer, who was hired last month to replace interim coach Joe Prunty. In Budenholzer, Horst hired a coach with a reputation for player development who took the Atlanta Hawks to the Eastern Conference finals in 2015.
One of the league’s up-and-coming franchises hopes to take another step forward after first-round playoff exits in three of the past four seasons. The Bucks are also moving into a new arena this fall.
”They’re a playoff team and they’re … on the rise,” DiVincenzo said. ”My job is just coming there with no ego and just be the hardest worker and just build confidence in the people around me.”
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