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Hokies’ Antone Exum personifies the Christmas spirit

Virginia Tech v Boston College Getty Images

As most of us get older, we realize that the Christmas season is more above giving than receiving, especially when kids are part of the holiday equation.  At a relatively young age, Virginia Tech’s Antone Exum already has a complete grasp of that sentiment.

As part of the swag for earning a bid to the Russell Athletic Bowl, each Hokies player was given, among other things, a $470 gift card to Best Buy.  Monday afternoon, Exum and some of his teammates headed out to an Orlando Best Buy for a shopping spree on the bowl’s dime.

At the store, the redshirt junior cornerback noticed three young boys — kids he had never met, incidentally — which set the giving-not-receiving wheels in motion.  After initially picking out items for himself, Exum ultimately put the gadgets back and began a search for the kids.  Upon finding them, he floored ’em with a simple gesture: “I got this money and I want you to go shopping and get what you want,” the player told the kids, who the Orlando Sentinel reports are two brothers and a cousin from the Bahamas and just happened to be in the country for the holidays.

And that’s exactly what Santa Exum and the kids did, with the young trio ultimately settling on a PlayStation 3 and a Blackberry phone.  The kids wanted some games for the PS3 as well so, with his $470 gift card nearly maxed out, Exum enlisted the help of teammates Tariq Edwards and Marcus Davis, who gave up what was left on their respective cards to the kids.

“I think I was blessed to have a lot of fortunate Christmases when I was a kid, so I hope that every little kid deserves to have a perfect Christmas,” Exum said according to the Sentinel.  “I know it was a Christmas that I won’t forget because I won’t forget those smiles and the excitement on their faces when I told them they could get whatever they wanted in the store.”

To help him remember, Exum had a picture taken with the beneficiaries of his generosity and posted it on his Twitter account:

Antone Exum 1

Said head coach Frank Beamer, “I was proud of him. It made someone else’s Christmas better and I think he felt good about it.”

As well he should.  And bravo, Antone Exum.  We could all take a little lesson from your selfless gesture — this or any other time of the year.

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16 Responses to “Hokies’ Antone Exum personifies the Christmas spirit”
  1. ducej11 says: Dec 26, 2012 1:16 PM

    “And that’s exactly what Santa Exum and the kids did, with the young trio ultimately settling on a PlayStation 3 and a Blackberry phone.”

    A blackberry? Why would any of those kids need a blackberry?

  2. nickpizzle says: Dec 26, 2012 1:43 PM

    I think your missing the point…

  3. ningenito78 says: Dec 26, 2012 1:50 PM

    Very classy Antone. Well done.

  4. cowboys8819 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:08 PM

    Awesome story and only 3 comments! If it was about a shooting or a player messing up there would be about 300 comments! SMH

  5. igottz5onit says: Dec 26, 2012 3:26 PM

    Wish we got to see more of this and less of the police blotter.

  6. roundup5 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:38 PM

    Anyone is obviously not from the same area of Virginia as
    Marcus Vick, and TNT crew. Well done, Antone!

  7. roundup5 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:38 PM

    That’s “Antone”, not “anyone”……..

  8. truwarier90 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:45 PM

    great story, not every hokie is a stomping alcoholic like marcus vick, hokies have always had character with exception the vick brothers(and meangelo hall), bruce smith was always classy, and the hokies are classy for honouring SH, connecticutt on their helmet decals and coach’s shirts.

  9. bengalsucker says: Dec 26, 2012 4:03 PM

    Props to Antone Exum! It’s a relief to see a story like this and not one about a player who’s beating his wife/gf or getting popped for drugs. Way to go man!

  10. dalucks says: Dec 26, 2012 4:11 PM

    Great gesture by a great young man. I wish him nothing but success in life.
    You would like to see the greedy idiots who run the NCAA reimburse him with a new giftcard.

  11. igottz5onit says: Dec 26, 2012 5:55 PM

    I love how there’s one person giving all the positive comments the thumbs down. My drill sergeant always said “no matter how easy or good an idea is, there’s always one idiot that’ll ef it up”. Thanks to whomever that is for proving the truth of that idiom.

  12. deeboy says: Dec 26, 2012 6:36 PM

    Desmond Scott and other Duke football players bought gifts for needy Durham families with their bowl money, without being prompted. Glad to see this generous spirit has spread to others. Good job Antoine.

  13. vtdcfan says: Dec 26, 2012 6:42 PM

    great gesture… way to go kid, may it come back 10 fold. one thing the holidays should be about. now go have a great bowl game!

  14. 1stbaseman44 says: Dec 26, 2012 6:56 PM

    college football needs more players like this young man. damn fine job just picked up a new fan.

  15. daboys1023 says: Dec 26, 2012 10:38 PM

    love this story!!! Need to hear about more stories like this. Thats a role model right there, pay it forward!!!

  16. metalhead65 says: Dec 27, 2012 11:02 AM

    the thumbs down must be coming from the ncaa. no doubt they will have an inquiry on where they got the gift cards and be suspended for using them on somebody other than themselves. then when these kids are old enough and if they play football will be prohibited from playing college football for receiving impermissible benefits as children.

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