WaPo reader: Otto Porter Jr. feeds homeless man

porterThe Washington Wizards are hoping Otto Porter Jr. can create a dynamic backcourt with John Wall, but even if the rookie doesn’t pan out to be a star, he is already using his new found riches in a truly altruistic way.

Charitable acts by athletes are always an interesting discussion. There is almost a demand and expectation from fans that players should use their celebrity and money to help those that are less fortunate. In a truly utopian world, I agree. I don’t think this is fair to expect, but it would be great if they did. I don’t think it is necessary for us to know what they do to help, but a Washington Post reader recently witnessed Porter bring food to a homeless man, and it moved him to write a letter to the paper to make others aware of th e good Porter is doing.

On Friday, during a very stressful week for Washington, I looked to escape the madness for 30 minutes on what was a warm fall afternoon. I was reading The Post and eating a quick lunch at a table outside a local sandwich shop while a disheveled homeless man sat nearby, persistently and unsuccessfully asking anyone who walked by if he or she could “spare a sandwich.”

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.

There is probably much more of this happening that we know of with other athletes, and it is cool to see that Porter did this. He likely wasn’t thinking “someone is watching me,” which is the best kind of charity.

  • Jamnew44

    A lot of people might have given the homeless man money or a sandwich, but few would have sat down and share a moment with another human being like Porter did. I am sure the conversation and not being invisable meant as much to the homeless man as the sandwich. This is what a good Jesuit education (Georgetown) can do for a young man.

  • starkweather

    Otto is the man. I hope he’s a Bullet for life so he can just be a (sort of) hometown hero forever. I don’t know about the good Jesuit education thing, since a ton of Georgetown graduates are obnoxious assholes, but the stars that Georgetown has produced in the NBA do seem to have an altruistic streak (even Bubbachuck, though it seems to just add to his drama somehow. Maybe that’s just the crippling alcoholism).

  • cabbage

    I don’t follow basketball, so I’ve honestly never heard of Otto, but he sounds like a great human being.

    Well done, young man.

    • starkweather

      His dad’s a high school coach in the sticks and Otto flew under the radar a bit as a high school player because he stayed out of the cesspool of AAU ball. He was Big East POY last year. I’m a little worried that he is an exact replica of Jeff Green on the court

      • cabbage

        The good news is, I don’t think you need to worry about him off the court.

        As us oldtimers say, “He’s had some fetchin’ up.”

        /gold clap for his parents

  • Petep55

    My new favorite NBA player, Otto Porter Jr.

  • Knightro

    Never been a fan of Georgetown hoops, but I am now a fan of Mr. Porter. Well done!