5 Star Athletes Who Shocked Ordinary Joes By Playing Pickup Games with Strangers [VIDEOS]
For many professional athletes, it’s hard to stay away from the court or off the field. During their free time, they will occasionally surprise fans by showing up for a game of hoops or to throw the pigskin.
For the strangers who get to play with their idols, it’s a dream come true. Bryce Harper is just the latest player to drop in on unsuspecting amateurs when he took some swings at a softball game on Washington, DC’s National Mall on Monday night. Here’s a roundup of some well-known players showing off their stuff in lesser-known locations:
“I hadn’t seen the Lincoln Memorial before so I wanted to go over there and check that out,” Harper said. “I was just walking through and they asked me if I’d take a few hacks.” In his performance, Harper didn’t exactly light up the night during the matchup between the World Wildlife Fund Fighting Pandas and the Alliance to Save Energy Killer Watts. He can take solace in the fact that it was underhanded softball, a sport the major leaguer likely hasn’t mastered yet.
Wade was walking by New York City’s Thompson Street Playground last month when he spotted a group of kids playing a game of hoops. So he decided to join them, showing off his best moves and jukes. The thing was that Wade was clad in his Sunday best at the time, including a tie. It didn’t stop him from playing with the teens. Besides, if they beat him to the basket, he could use that as a worthy excuse for his defensive lapse.
Oklahoma State University student George Overbey responded to a Durant tweet last November inviting the Thunder forward to participate in his intramural flag football game. And Durant accepted the offer. Playing quarterback and cornerback, Durant helped lead his team to victory in what was an “unforgettable night” for the 500 spectators on hand.
The Rockies pitcher had a catch with fan Woody Roseland last month after Roseland responded to Guthrie’s tweet looking for a partner. Roseland is a cancer survivor who had to have his leg amputated, and it gave him a day to remember. Roseland is a motivational speaker and has been a personal guest of Tim Tebow for a Broncos’ game.
Not all of these surprise drop-in stories have such a happy ending. Young running back Lawrence Phillips was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in 2005 after allegedly driving a car into three teenagers after he played in a pick-up football game in California. Phillips was eventually sentenced to 31 days in jail, but claimed that the trial wasn’t fair. He’s widely accepted to be one of the biggest busts in NFL history, and his temper is at least partially to blame for his failures as a pro.