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Point Forward

Letter to the editor depicts Washington's Otto Porter as a good Samaritan

Georgetown product Otto Porter was selected by Washington with the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NBA draft. (Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) Georgetown product Otto Porter was selected by Washington with the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NBA draft. (Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

Professional athletes -- and celebrities of all kinds -- are often discussed in strangely personal ways, as if their very souls were borne in public appearances alone. Yet in the vast majority of cases, these figures remain as strangers. They play ball or make music or star in films, but those of us on the other side of the wall know little of them beyond what is publicly documented or projected. Some choose to extrapolate full opinions of those famous individuals from the available morsels, while others take those bits of information for what they are: tiny glimpses at a much bigger picture.

A letter to the editor of the Washington Post provides one such glimpse of Wizards rookie Otto Porter, who the writer claims to have seen in a moment of unprompted charity:

On Friday, during a very stressful week for Washington, I looked to escape the madness for 30 minutes on what was a warm fall afternoon. I was reading The Post and eating a quick lunch at a table outside a local sandwich shop while a disheveled homeless man sat nearby, persistently and unsuccessfully asking anyone who walked by if he or she could “spare a sandwich.”

After about 25 minutes, Otto Porter Jr., the Georgetown basketball star and the Washington Wizards’ newest first-round draft pick, drove up, hopped out of his car and entered the shop. Mr. Porter soon exited with his sandwich and drink — but also with a sandwich, a bag of chips and a drink for the homeless man. Mr. Porter then sat down next to the man, and they both enjoyed their sandwiches while making small talk.

This isn't some bit of counter-programming on a player with a checkered reputation, as every indication suggests that Porter is a good egg. But it's heartening nonetheless to see a 20-year-old millionaire stopping, if only for a moment, to help out a hungry man with his lunch. Good on you, Otto, for a thoughtful act done for its own sake.

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