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Thursday, May 23, 2013
A kind gesturePosted Monday, March 14, 2011, at 10:22 AM
What a special moment for a wonderful man.
Recently, Clay County resident, former teacher and school board member Joe Thomas was invited to attend an Indiana State University men's basketball practice.
While there, Joe watched intently as the players conducted drills in anticipation for their upcoming NCAA Tournament appearance.
Joe was in attendance along with friends Rick James and former ISU player Brad Miley.
Miley, who played for the 1979 men's squad that advanced to the NCAA Championship game, only to fall to Michigan State University, contacted ISU men's coach Greg Lansing, asking if it would be appropriate for the three to attend a practice.
Lansing wanted his visitors to attend the practice and looked forward to the event.
James contacted Miley inquiring if this was possible. He said he wanted to give Joe a reason to be cheerful with all the health issues he has been dealing with recently.
The three attended practice last week and after the practice, Joe got some one-on-one time with Lansing, discussing the upcoming tournament among other items.
James also presented Lansing with a basketball for the players to sign in honor of Thomas.
After meeting with the men, Lansing said always enjoyed being around Joe.
"He's always been a guy who was good to sit and talk to," Lansing said. "I enjoy being around him. He's one of the special guys in this community."
From a personal standpoint, I found it fitting that Lansing and the ISU players found time during their scheduled to pencil in a meet-and-greet with Joe.
All this while they were preparing for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001.
On Sunday, the Sycamores learned they would face Syracuse in the first round of tourney action.
I called Joe later that evening to see if he had received the basketball.
He had just finished watching the NCAA Bracket Draw.
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