Kevin Love's Inspiration
Kevin Love's Inspiration
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Wolves fans are accustomed to watching Kevin Love snatch a rebound off the rim and quickly outlet to a teammate on a nightly basis. In similar fashion, Love was handed a Kia Sorento CUV from Kia Motors as part of the Most Improved Player Award and dished the automobile to the Dylan Witschen Foundation on Thursday afternoon.
The Dylan Witschen Foundation celebrates and honors the life of Dylan Witschen by providing scholarships to college-bound students and raises funds in support of St. Jude’s cancer research efforts.
Love forged a special relationship with Dylan in 2008 after becoming an ambassador for St. Jude’s Rookie Relief campaign. As Dylan underwent cancer treatment, Love developed a bond with the 14-year old, often exchanging emails and jokes, sharing a common passion for sports and basketball. Dylan passed away last June but Love still considers him a major part of his life and an inspiring figure in a season that ended with a Most Improved Player Award.
“Last year I wore the number seven on my shoes, which is also my lucky number, in relation to Dylan, so just keeping him in our thoughts and prayers and I know he's holding it down up there for me. That's why I'm donating it to Dylan,” Love beamed.
The power forward captured the prestigious award by averaging 20+ points and 15+ rebounds for the first time since Moses Malone in 1982-83. Love etched his name in the NBA record books by reeling off 53 consecutive double-doubles and provided a memorable 31-point, 31-rebound night for the hometown fans against the New York Knicks.
“I mean that kind of helped me get this award today, because he kind of implemented into my mind in a way to never settle, so he had a big heart and I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps as far as that goes, Love added.
The entire Witschen family was on hand to witness the career achievement for Love and was quite taken aback by the gesture.
“Oh we were shocked,” Ed Witschen exclaimed. “I got the call yesterday and they said, 'Hey what are you doing tomorrow?' and I said, 'Well, nothing.' I thought we were just coming because we're having a golf tournament and that we'd come pick some stuff up and he said that Kevin had won this award, and I knew he was going to win the award, and he said they were going to donate this car and I was floored. I told my wife and we told the Foundation and we were just ecstatic.”
The Witschen family and Love are forever interlinked, sharing thoughts of Dylan and building new memories from an unexpected friendship with Ed, Deb, and Dylan’s sister Megan, “Kevin makes sure that after [a game] if he knows were there we better go in the locker room after and talk to him. He always comes out and talks to us and whatever we need - help with our foundation, anything. He's always there to help," Ed Witschen proudly stated.
Love didn’t think twice about donating the car and shedding light on the importance of raising money for cancer research. The third-year forward is dedicated to continuing his relationship with the Witschen’s and St. Jude to make sure Dylan’s name will signify hope for children affected by cancer around the world.
“It's not all about going out and it being about you, it's about affecting other people's lives as well,” an emotional Love stated. “Being able to affect Dylan's life in a positive way, he's come all the way back around and helped me as well to become a better person. I really, really do love this family, love the support they give us, and the entire team and I can't really put it into words...I can't say enough about them.”
On a day that celebrated the individual performance of Love, the spotlight was quickly shined on a more paramount cause and once again brought the memory of Dylan to the forefront.
Visit the Dylan Witschen Foundation Web site here and St. Jude's site here.
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