For his 94th birthday, World War II veteran Sam Marcum had one wish: this Morning Pointe of Lenoir City resident wanted to watch the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team play a home game — not just on television, but in person.
An avid fan of Vols basketball, Marcum was a season ticketholder for many years, but unfortunately had to give up his tickets as he aged.
Morning Pointe associates were able to obtain tickets to the Vols home game against South Carolina Wednesday, Feb. 13, through UT Alumni Association and Athletic Department.
Sam got to enjoy an 85-73 Vols victory against the Gamecocks.
Although Marcum was overjoyed at the news, Morning Pointe senior executive director Randy Lawson wanted to do more for his resident.
Unbeknownst to Marcum, Lawson used his connections with the family of UT basketball head coach Rick Barnes to arrange a tour of Thompson-Boling Arena for Marcum following the game, including an opportunity to watch the team practice.
Barnes introduced Marcum to the players while telling them he was a World War II veteran and recipient of two Purple Hearts.
“They all gave Sam a standing ovation — clapping for him, shaking his hand and thanking him for his service. It was a very touching moment for Sam and all of the Morning Pointe staff,” recalled Camie Entrekin, Life Enrichment director at Morning Pointe of Lenoir City.
“We are so grateful to have been able to grant his birthday wish and are indebted to him for everything he did to serve his country during World War II.”