Taj McWilliams-Franklin takes a sweet rural Minnesota road trip
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- October 20, 2011 - 12:01 PM
It's easy to get cynical about professional athletes. It's even easy to dismiss the myriad pitches we get from teams about players doing good in the community as nothing more than an attempt to raise their PR profile (we honestly believe this is not the case with tons of athletes and teams; we're just saying it unfortunately happens). Sometimes, though, a neat little story comes along and warms even the iciest of hearts. This one, which we first caught wind of last week courtesy of Jon Marthaler -- commenter, weekend linker and friend of RandBall -- has stuck with us. For many of the details, we turn to Tim Marthaler -- counselor at Ortonville High School and, yes, Jon's dad. Tim's words came courtesy of the Lynx (and with permission from him for us to use), after Tim contacted them to share his story. The Lynx PR folks were not aware of it until folks from Ortonville filled them in. Before confirming it, though, one Lynx staffer said it sounds like something Taj McWilliams-Franklin -- whose 41st birthday is today -- would do. Here is the story of what happened last week from Tim Marthaler:
Students and teachers in our school had the rare privilege of meeting and hearing from a lady who needs no introduction to you - Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Needless to say, it was the highlight of the day in our K-12 building.
Again, athletes visit schools all the time. But for a player to make a surprise visit to Ortonville -- more than 150 miles west of Minneapolis -- is awfully cool. We grew up in Grand Forks, which often felt even smaller than the population of 50,000 or so at the time would suggest. If someone of any stature pays attention to you in a small town, it makes you feel a little bigger and a little special. Sounds like Taj delivered that, and an Ortonville crowd will never forget it.
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