Gregg Doyle and LeBron James have something of a history together now. Most of us wouldn't remember the columns that Doyle wrote while James was a member of the Miami Heat. I do, because James' candid response was immortalized in a couple of NBA 2K video games. One of Doyle's stories this week focused on a youth football coach named Emmanuel Duncan in Indiana.
Duncan has Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, a rare disease that turns muscles into fat. Even though he is only 19 years old, he was recruited to be a coach at Lawrence Central High School with the purpose of lifting up the team with his wit and candor. Duncan has proved to be both a winning and uplifting force in their school community. He lives his life pursuing his goals even though the life expectancy of a person with his condition is only 20 years old. Doyle presses Duncan to know what is at the top of his "bucket list".
Duncan wants one thing above all else, to meet LeBron. So, you can imagine his and Doyle's surprise today when a package arrived at his door.
Sometimes the best stories involving this team come from off the court. LeBron James is no stranger to gestures of charity and compassion for youth in need. When James heard the young man's story he reached out to respond and connect with the young man. Here is the letter that he wrote Emmanuel:
James has gotten pretty good at this whole letter format in the last two years. He also made sure he hooked Duncan up with some Cavs swag because he is a Cleveland Cavalier fan in the heart of Pacer territory. I'm in agreement with Doyle that I don't understand people that devalue what James does on and off the court anymore. These moments of grace and inspiration are something that all of us can look to while we strive for greatness in our own way.