The game was over. Rakeem Christmas’ senior night did not go as planned. Rather than celebrating his career with a victory over the number two team in the country, his Syracuse squad was thoroughly dominated on Monday.
In the locker room after the game, members of the media flocked to his corner where he sat and fielded questions for nearly a half-hour. After being the consummate professional and answering every reporter’s questions, he stood up to leave the Carrier Dome for the last time as a Syracuse player.
Clearly frustrated with the outcome and tired from all of the attention, he stood up and walked towards the exit. It was at that moment that four young boys approached him with various items.
”Can I have your autograph,” one child asked Rakeem nervously.
It would have been very easy for Christmas to pretend he did not hear them and go on with his night. No one would have known. But on a night that was almost all about him and his contributions to the program during his four years on The Hill, Christmas gave those four kids a memory they will not soon forget.
He stopped and signed every piece of memorabilia they placed in front of him. It may have been a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it was pretty cool to see.
The moment is pictured above.