Injury scare leads to display of sportsmanship between Aquinas, Fall Creek
The boys basketball state tournament getting canceled was a low point for many local athletes, but plenty of memorable moments stand out from the regional and sectional competition that did to be played.
Sports has an inherent ability to bring people together, and one regional game between Aquinas and Fall Creek especially proves it.
In the competitive regional final, Aquinas sophomore Chris Wilson got a steal and started a fast break.
“I was running down the court full speed,” Wilson said. “I tried to Euro step a guy, and I just went up for a layup, and my leg got caught.”
Caught between two Fall Creek defenders, one of them senior Gabe Schmidt.
“I didn’t really know what happened at first,” Schmidt recalled. “I just saw he was on the floor, and then I saw his foot, and I knew something was wrong right away.”
It was a completely dislocated ankle that shocked the entire gym.
Aquinas would win the game by 10, and even though there were no hard feelings, Fall Creek wasn’t content.
“We wanted to do something special for the young man,” Fall Creek boys head coach Rick Storlie said. “We felt very badly about what had happened to him.”
“My mom and I were talking [after the game], and we both thought it was a good idea that we could maybe get him something,” Schmidt said.
“They reached out to my teammate Gavin Wetzel, and he was kind of asking me questions about everything,” Wilson said.
The team pooled some money and got Wilson a basket of his favorite things.
“Swedish Fish, Jolly Ranchers, cookies, gift cards.”
And as Aquinas was warming up to play Luther in the sectional semifinal a few days later, Fall Creek was there to present the gift personally.
“I had no clue it was coming from Fall Creek,” Wilson said. “I just thought it was coming from our team and our school. I’ve never experienced something like this in my life, so it was really cool for them to come out and show their support for me.”
“He said we didn’t have to do it, but we felt bad and wanted to show our support,” Schmidt said. “I think character is more important than the game, more than winning and losing. It’s about showing how much you care.”
Said Storlie, “When something bad happens, your character is revealed, and these guys really showed what their character is.”
Wilson says he’s set to be fully healed in 8-10 weeks and has made a solid dent in that gift basket.