Summer sports really dominated our top stories from July. From baseball surprises to making surfing a reality for kids to a 10-year-old skateboarding prodigy who has her sights set on the Olympics, the month was filled with narratives to make you smile.
Purpose2Play’s top five:
Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber put on an absolute show at the 2018 Home Run Derby by blasting 55 home runs to take second-place in the annual contest. But, even bigger than that was the “home run” he hit by surprising fans at the Adult Down Syndrome Center in Park Ridge, Ill. on Tuesday.
Schwarber dished high-fives, posed for pictures and signed autographs for many of the teens and adults that the center serves.
Phil Jackson is a big believer that a little salt in the air and sand in the hair can do a body good.
That’s why in 2014, the 38-year-old from Garden City, South Carolina founded the Surf Dreams Foundation, an organization that “provides children with the proper knowledge, lessons, equipment and ocean safety to enjoy surfing.”
Yes, long before Jackson was at the helm, he was a big-time surfer himself. But, he was diverted from the sport when a drug addiction took over his life. His mission now? To impact kids in the local surf community well before drugs have the chance to.
When the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, Jake Wood traded in his football pads for combat gear.
He was a freshman offensive lineman at the University of Wisconsin, but when tragedy shook the nation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps., dove head-first into a life of service and never looked back.
That’s part of the reason why Wood will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2018 ESPY Awards.
There aren’t many 10-year-olds who can quickly garner international attention. Then again, there aren’t many kids who are skateboarding like Sky Brown, a girl who is already beating grown men in competitions.
Sky, who’s from Miyazaki, Japan, started skateboarding (much to her parents’ dismay) at two years old.
Jim Walmsley may have had a mountain lion atop his first-place trophy following Saturday’s Western States 100, but it was a different type of animal that nearly thwarted his record-breaking performance.
Just before setting a new course record by running 100 miles through the mountains of Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. in 14 hours, 30 minutes, 4 seconds, he encountered two cubs and a mama bear on the trail.