You win $40,000 dollars, are you giving it all away? Every dollar? Let’s say you’re 17 or 18 years old. Still feeling that charitable?
Cal State Northridge freshman guard Allan Guei did. The former Compton High player participated in a free-throw shooting contest this past spring at his alma mater. After he won, knowing he had a scholarship to play basketball at the next level with the Matadors, he decided to donate his winnings to the seven other participants in the contest.
Because of that, some of those kids will be able to afford to go to school, some of them being first-generation college-goers in their families. The money from the contest was specifically awarded toward college expenses.
Under NCAA rules, Guei could have kept most of the winnings without giving up his athletic scholarship. But he thought the others were more in need of the boost.
“They were all smart and wanted to pursue their dreams, but were having financial difficulties,” Guei said after basketball practice recently. “I felt it was the right move to help the others, especially when everything else was taking off for me.”
His classmates were thrilled.
“It was a shock,” said runner-up Omar Guzman, 17, who plans to attend San Diego State University in the fall. “I’m really grateful there are people like that out there. It was generous.”
On the surface, seems pretty interesting, right? Not just that Guei donated the money, but the premise of the contest in the first place. Compton High School was having a free-throw shooting contest, and the winner stood to claim 40K? What? How? The L.A. Times’ story about this states that a man named Court Crandall was the catalyst for it all.
He’s planning on making a documentary that discounts some of the myths about what Compton is like. He wants to spread more positivity within that community. As part of this, he rallied to make this free-throw shooting competition at the biggest local high school possible. The caveat: only students with 3.0 GPAs or better could participate. Guei, despite his basketball skill being better than those in the competition, was allowed to participate because his grades were good.
He was randomly selected amongst a group of about 80 students. And so what started off as perhaps an unfair set of circumstances ended with the most charitable, happiest solution of all. No way Crandall could have predicted this kind of story.