Elite Kindness

The Bassmaster Elite Series traveled from coast to coast in 2015, and we were fortunate to tag along and watch as the best anglers in the world competed in every situation imaginable. The fishing is only part of it though – family, friends and faith are big part of the “gypsy” life these anglers lead, and are often overlooked by the coverage these tournaments receive.

Here is one of the most touching stories of 2015 (in our opinion) involving Elite Pro Hank Cherry, a young angler, and a bunch of smiles.

The McDermott Family attended the Bassmaster Elite Tournament in North East, MD to be able to experience a professional fishing tournament, as their kids have been fishing since they were old enough to cast a line. The summer of 2015 has been a bit more subdued then previous McDermott Family summers after their oldest son, Jack, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in February of 2015. The tournament was something the family could attend that did not affect Jack’s restrictions/precautions from his cancer treatments and open heart surgery, allowing them all to share their love for fishing without worry.

The McDermotts wandered around the different displays and vendors available to the public at every Bassmaster Elite Series event, taking in the sights and sounds until weigh-in time. Like many young fans, the McDermott kids  ended up were hanging out behind the Bassmaster Grandstand attempting to get autographs and pictures from any of the pros as they made their way to and from the stage. Youngest son, Joseph, was getting an autograph from Hank Cherry and noticed his camouflaged Costa sunglasses. Joseph said, “Mr. Cherry I like your sunglasses!”  Without skipping a beat, Hank proceeded to take the sunglasses off his head and hand them to Joseph.  Seeing his brother with a huge smile (that according to the family lasted for days), Jack couldn’t help but smile and joke about how “all I got was a free t-shirt!”.   The weekend continued with more photographs, autographs, and memories for the family through the last day of competition, and their interaction with Hank Cherry will be something the McDermott Boys never forget.

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