By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We all dream about hanging out with our favorite athletes. One lucky girl made that dream of her’s a reality when she took to social media to ask one of her favorite football players to accompany her to prom. Today, that player made their trip to prom official.
Hannah Delmonte tapped into the power of social media in January when she asked Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho to go to prom with her. Acho made a deal with Delmonte. If she reached 10,000 retweets of her conversation with him on Instagram, he would take her to prom.
The challenge was happily accepted and easily achieved. “All it took was for me to go to dinner, get up from dinner, 3 hours go by and she’s at 9,983. At that point in time, I knew I would be going to prom,” Acho said on 94WIP’s Sports Beyond Measure Podcast.
LISTEN: Emmanuel Acho joins Vince Quinn and Ray Boyd to discuss the BIG surprise on Sports Beyond Measure.
With Delmonte having surpassed the 10,000 retweets, Acho had no choice but to acknowledge the accomplishment.
Acho made an in person announcement when he arrived at Delmonte’s school assuring her that he is honored to accompany her to her prom. Acho made the trip up from Texas where he is currently in graduate school working on his master’s degree in Sports Psychology.
The high school junior received an Eagles jersey adorned with the number 15 and with the word “prom,” written across the back. Acho added that Delmonte already has an Eagles green dress picked out and he is working with his teammate Malcolm Jenkins to secure an Eagles green bow tie.
When Delmonte first saw Acho, she could not help but begin to cry at the sight of one of her favorite players. Acho said it was a moment that truly resonated with him.
“It was awesome because you get to see raw emotion,” Acho said. “It’s hard in life because we’re always trying to cover up our raw emotions, but for three seconds you saw her raw emotion. When I saw that, it really touched my heart.”
Acho also added that it will be quite a moment for him as well when he goes to prom. Acho explained that it wasn’t his dance moves that kept him from attending prom in high school.
Acho attended a small private high school in Dallas with a graduating class of just 75 people. “It was an all boys school,” Acho explained.
“Our senior year we simply had something called Marksmen Ball, but it was kind of awkward like your parents were there for the first hour, you could bring a date, but your parents are there.” The awkwardness of that alone was enough to deter Acho from having a date to that ball.
In addition to going to prom with Delmonte, Acho also plans to play the piano and sing a song to her as well.
Who says chivalry is dead?
Acho’s meeting with Delmonte and her family also led to a connection that will aid his family in their charity endeavors.
“Every offseason, my brother, my parents and my family, we go to Nigeria with about 40 doctors and nurses and we just do free medical care in a rural village in Africa where my parents were born,” Acho explained. Acho said that on last year’s trip they saw roughly 2,500 patients and performed $1.28 million in free medical care. The family’s ultimate goal is to build a hospital there.
You can click here to find out more about Acho’s charity as the family looks to raise funds to build the hospital.
Acho explained that Delmonte’s father did some research on him before he met his daughter and he stumbled upon Acho’s charity work in Africa. “We shook hands and he instantly handed me a check,” Acho said of Delmonte’s father.
Delmonte’s mother also happens to be a family doctor and plans to join Acho’s family on a trip to Africa in the future.
We may from time to time call into question whether or not professional athletes truly care about the admiration that their fans have for them. They might not all care, but on Friday, Acho proved that his fans certainly mean something to him.
“It means so much just to see the support,” Acho said of fans, especially those like Delmonte. “When I saw her cry, that’s when it really hit me to how big a deal this all was because I just consider myself a regular guy.
“When you see the effect you have on fans, it’s such a powerful feeling.”
The Sports Beyond Measure Podcast is a weekly sports podcast that delivers a fun perspective on the latest headlines in national sports, Philadelphia professional sports and community-based sports. The series is hosted by 94 WIP’s Vince Quinn, Ray Boyd and Eric “Turtle” Golden. You can download/subscribe for free on iTunes.