Taking a look at Delano Howell, Hart's Own Hero
The role of the hero is defined by its context, however the call of being human is universal. I remember Kirk Gibson’s Grand Slam in the bottom of the 9th in the 1988 World Series and Jordan’s Buzzer beater over Byron Russell for the NBA Championship, and I also recall mimicking those moments as a kid.
Down by 2… Three seconds left… He Shoots…
And the crowd goes wild!
How else do these stories end if they didn’t end with a wild crowd?
Charles Barkley had a Nike Commercial more than a decade ago where he stated “I am not a role model.” Perhaps this was an omen. Sports star have always been role models, and I understand that they neither ask to be role models nor should their talents validate them being our children’s teachers, however I’ve been increasingly disgusted by the off-field antics of our professional athletes. Today, Tank Johnson, Maurice Clarett, and Michael Vick take the cake when it comes to down right evil and despicable deeds. But it’s not just the malicious and violent that have killed the hero in sports, it’s the irresponsible and shallowness of it all. Allen Iverson declaring that practice is not a big deal. Latrell Sprewell saying his multi-million dollar deal isn’t enough for his family’s-sake. The Duke Lacrosse team being pardoned of rape, but just because they committed no criminal act does not pardon them from decency.
I’ve discovered a diamond in the rough, and in this episode the good guy wears black. Red and Black. I spent a wonderful Sunday morning talking with Delano Howell and his mother, Dinah Howell, and discovered a wonderful story. Delano is a well built young man that’s currently acting as a representative of Foothill Hard-Nosed Football, playing for the Hart Indians as their star Running Back, Punt Return Specialist, Defensive Back, and Punk Kicker. Delano will be attending Stanford University next fall but beyond his athletic skill his most impressive resume booster is his 4.39 GPA. Delano attributes his discipline to his parent’s involved upbringing, and I can only hope the best for a kid who says his motivation in life is to be a man of character and integrity, not a sloppy superstar with more money than he knows what to do with. It is important for us to champion such people and although athletes might not have a duty to be role-models as humans they have a responsibility to decency. Good Luck Delano.