Otto Porter Jr. Buys Homeless Man Sandwich, Schools Nation in Human Decency

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterOctober 10, 2013

Otto Porter Jr. is a Washington Wizards rookie with his life and career well ahead of him. However, he is already a man who understands just how powerful the gentle touch of humanity can be. 

The New York Daily News' Jaime Uribarri spotted a wonderful letter The Washington Post published on its website. The letter comes from a fan who witnessed a random act of kindness carried out by a young man the local NBA franchise has high hopes for in the coming years. 

Michael Stein, who wrote to the Post, was trying to escape a stressful week in D.C. and decided to read the paper and get something to eat. While sitting there, Stein noticed a homeless man who unsuccessfully asked patrons nearby for a sandwich.

Little did Stein or the hungry man know, amazing was just around the corner. 

After about 25 minutes, Otto Porter Jr., the Georgetown basketball star and the Washington Wizards’ newest first-round draft pick, drove up, hopped out of his car and entered the shop. Mr. Porter soon exited with his sandwich and drink — but also with a sandwich, a bag of chips and a drink for the homeless man. Mr. Porter then sat down next to the man, and they both enjoyed their sandwiches while making small talk.  

Well, I'm a jerk. 

Jun 28, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards rookie Otto Porter Jr. speaks to the media after being drafted with the third pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft during a press conference at Verizon Center . Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes
Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

I hate to personalize a story that isn't remotely about me, but I am officially a jerk. Porter is a 20-year-old kid about to embark on his NBA journey who not only found time to feed the hungry, but also to remind a homeless man that he is still a human being—and homeless or not, we all need the comfort of a friend. 

Stein goes on to write what many of you are already thinking: Porter did all of this without any knowledge that anyone was watching or knew who he was. 

Simply, he saw a man in need of both sustenance and affection. So the collegiate star offered a sandwich and some conversation. 

So why am I a jerk? Because I haven't done the same. 

How remarkable was this small gesture? It was moving enough to compel one man to write a nice letter and send it off in hopes others would see it. It was special enough that we were just as touched by the sentiment and had to get the word out. 

Unfortunately, it's so remarkable because it doesn't happen all the time. 

Georgetown head coach John Thompson III caught wind of the story and didn't hesitate to trumpet a classy young man (h/t The New York Daily News).

Here is what he had to say, via the Georgetown Hoyas' official website

It was just Otto being Otto. I said it a lot last year when it came to the way he plays, but it's also about the way he carries himself off the floor too. He's a great young man with a terrific future and this story is just an example of something all young men can look up to.

Porter took a couple of moments and a few bucks from his pocket to make another person—someone forgotten and cast aside—feel welcome again. 

It was a small gesture, but it made a huge impression on an anonymous man who just wanted a sandwich. This Porter kid is going to be mighty easy to root for this season. 


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