Seeing Tate Decker's name reminded me of a story I posted here back in 09. He went t to the Shaq vs Pujols HR contest with us that's mentioned at the end of the post. He was such a nice guy and extremely giving of his time. We stayed in contact for a couple of years but haven't spoken or texted in a long while.
Posted August 13, 2009
Some of you may remember Tate Decker who played for Webster Groves, went to Mizzou and then to Wake Forrest. He has been playing in Europe for the last 10 or so years. Here is a nice story about what he did for the girls in our organization.
We were having our pizza party for the end of our summer session in a small local restaraunt in High Ridge when an older gentleman who turned out to be Tate's dad asked one of our Mom's what was going on in the back room, when she told him who we were he responded his son played proffessionally in Europe and was across the restaraunt at their table, he introduced them and asked if he could speak to whoever was in charge. I came out and he introduced himself, I knew the name and that he played at Webster and Mizzou but couldn't remember any more. He asked if he could speak to the girls and of course we let him. He spent about 10 - 15 minutes talking to them. Before he left he told me he'd be home for a few more weeks and would love to attend a practice. I told him our season had just ended until tryouts again in Sept. He said if we could put something together he'd still love to come out and work with the girls. I said great I'd see what we could do and he gave us his contact info. Well we ended up putting something together for last Monday. We had about 50-60 girls so it was impossible to make it instructional, so he talked to the girls for about 20 minutes on dedication, work ethic and not giving up. (he was cut in 9th grade). He told stories about playing with Jordan, Duncan and Yao along with stories about the paces he played. He was really fun to listen to.
We then split into age groups and he came to each group and played about 15 minutes each with 4 different groups. (I don't know if it'll end up on our site, but one of the coaches got a pic of him dunking over me) After that he divided up the girls and played knockout with them. When that was over he put on a dunking show and hung around and signed autographs for about 30 minutes. He gave out a couple of jerseys, a few posters and pics. All in all he stayed about 2 1/2 hours and then went and had wings, pizza and beer with us coaches. We have 2 girls in particular that he was very impressed with (a 6th and an 8th grader) and he volunteered to give them a couple of private sessions for free. I have his email and phone number and he wants to do this more often when he's in town .... again, we didn't ask, he just volunteered.
I have to tell you he was fantastic, great personality, fun and the girls loved him. He wasn't asked to do any of this he just volunteered on his own. The man was unbelievable and what a player ... he stood with his feet on the out of bounds line in the corner and just knocked down shot after shot as if he was shooting 8 footers. He was extremely quick and had an arsenal of different dunks. I played along time ago in the USAF and have played against some good players, but he was off the charts good. I can't imagine how good an NBA all star would be.
Just wanted to share this story. I know you don't read this, but Thank You Tate.
BTW ... I have 1 ticket to the Shaq vs Pujols filming tonight at TR Hughes ballpark. First to email me at [email protected]
can have it