You probably remember this photo from November 2011. After the Boilers narrowly avoided the humiliation of losing on their home court to High Point, Rob Hummel came back out and went back to work on his free throws. You may recall that he missed a couple of crucial FTs late in that game. Never mind that he looked gassed and was just getting his legs back after 20 months away from real games. Rob certainly didn't appear to see that as an excuse and I distinctly remember his reaction after missing the FTs and still winning -- Hummel looked like he wanted to punch himself in the face.
So he shot free throw after free throw, late into the evening. Cliff Brunt, who is working on a fantastic site he calls Indy Sports Legends, writes for the AP and was able to snap that photo. If you click here, you can read his story about that photo, the situation around it, and his thoughts about why it resonated. My favorite part of his analysis is the following:
The photo exemplified everything people already believed about Robbie. Hard work. Determination. Winner. Leadership, indeed.
And that's just it. People need heroes in their lives, even of the sports variety. Sometimes we build someone up because we want them to be the pure, wonderful person we need them to be. Sometimes -- like with Rob -- they even live up to it.