Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

After returning a stranger’s wallet, McNair praised the UTRGV graduate in an email to NMSU administration

LAS CRUCES — Will McNair Jr. didn’t have to do the right thing — but he wanted to.

When he decided to return a lost wallet he found in his hotel room in Edinburgh, Texas, on the Aggie basketball team’s latest road trip, the diminutive New Mexico state redshirt sophomore had expected nothing but a clear conscience and the knowledge that he had done the right thing, but the woman whose wallet McNair had returned to her was immensely grateful. She wrote an email to outgoing NMSU President John Floros, assistant head coach James Miller and men’s basketball coordinator Becky Veitch on Tuesday, personally thanking McNair with glorifying compliments on his character.

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“Dear Dr. Floros, Coach Jans and Coach Miller,” the email read.

“Saturday night I was reminded that there are still good and compassionate people in this world. One of them is your student and basketball player William McNair.

My name is Olivia Gomez, McAllen, TX resident and proud UTRGV graduate. Last week I lost my wallet with very important cards in it (health insurance cards, dental cards, credit cards, driver’s license & gift cards). I looked for it everywhere but got discouraged as more days went by with no luck finding it.

On Saturday night I received a call and text from Mr. William McNair, a student and basketball player from NM State, saying he had found my wallet and would like to give it back to me. Full disclosure, it’s a Louis Vuitton wallet, so he could easily have kept it, sold it, given it away, etc., but he didn’t, and I think that speaks volumes about his integrity and character.

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I am deeply touched and so, so grateful that he found it in his heart to find me and give it back. The state of New Mexico is blessed to have Mr. McNair as a student and player and I wanted to share this with you all (I hope he doesn’t mind). I have a 1.5 year old and I have told William that I pray she grows up to have the same kind heart as he does!

I believe God blesses those who do good to others and I look forward to seeing his basketball career blossom.”

Head coach Chris Jans made sure McNair’s good deed didn’t go unnoticed in the dressing room. Jans read the letter in a team meeting without revealing McNair’s name until the last moment, before complimenting the big man.

McNair said he found Gomez’s wallet in his hotel room after the Aggies won 85-73 in their second conference game against UTRGV, and he found a card in the wallet that contained Gomez’s contact information. He texted her after his first call went to voicemail, which was met with overwhelming delight from Gomez, McNair said. He said her husband came to pick it up after they made contact, and McNair was happy to do the right thing.

“I think if someone has an opportunity to give back something that doesn’t belong to them, everyone should try to give it back,” McNair said. “That might have meant everything to her, and that was just a small part for me.”

Stephen Wagner is a sports reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be found on Twitter at @stephenwag22 and reached at [email protected]

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