Football Player Receives Full Scholarship for Good Deeds Off the Field
Justin Juenemann, a backup football kicker from the University of Minnesota for the last four years, had yet to play in an actual game but he had been given outstanding recognition nonetheless for consistently serving the Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis as a volunteer without expecting anything in return. Little did he know, his team […]
Justin Juenemann, a backup football kicker from the University of Minnesota for the last four years, had yet to play in an actual game but he had been given outstanding recognition nonetheless for consistently serving the Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis as a volunteer without expecting anything in return. Little did he know, his team has prepared a scholarship surprise for him.
“I’ve never seen anybody serving and giving more than that guy [Justin] who is not a star player, who hasn’t played, or his face is recognizable. He can easily not do it and nobody else will say anything,” said Football Coach P.J. Fleck after the surprise scholarship reveal.
During the team meeting last August 9, Coach Fleck invited Kyle Tanner, a patient in the children’s hospital, and after introducing him to the team, he asked the kid who his favorite player was.
“I remember seeing one particular person a lot [at the hospital],” Kyle said. “That was Justin,” said Tanner.
Coach Fleck gave Kyle the t-shirt cannon and told him to aim it at his favorite player—Justin. Justin caught the shirt without trouble and when he read what was printed on the shirt – “Justin Congrats on Earning a Scholarship!” – the members of the team lifted him up and cheered wildly.
“That moment in itself was very special,” Justin told ABC News. “Then when I got the shirt it took me a minute and everyone was cheering, my teammates I think even lifted me up a little. It was a surreal moment, it was so awesome.” Justin also shared the news with his mom via Facetime and his mother shrieked with delight when she read the print on the shirt.
Coach Fleck explained to the team that Justin embodies the “Row the Boat” culture that he wants the team to learn. “We have a holistic approach for our culture academically, athletically, socially and spiritually and some programs don’t demand those things to be connected, but we do. And Justin fit the bill for all four,” Coach Fleck said.
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