North Branch basketball team lifts new student with act of kindness

Community members in North Branch, Minnesota took a moment to honor one student after he made a horrific discovery earlier this month.

The North Branch High School basketball team named Landon Weiskopf an honorary captain at Tuesday's game, giving the high school freshman a positive experience after an unsettling incident at school.

Earlier this month, the freshman returned to the locker room during practice only to discover that someone had urinated and defecated in his backpack, destroying all its contents. Students also reported cell phones and other items were also stolen from their backpacks in the locker room.

When they heard the news, community members replaced many of Weiskopf’s belongings in an act of kindness. Then, they wanted to do something more for the new student.

Players Zach Gazda and Carter Whitman asked the teen to take on the role as an act of solidarity.

“I think it’s nice to have people behind you, no matter what happens,” Carter Whitman said. “That shouldn’t happen to anybody, especially someone new to the district…it’s just disgusting what happened.”

As police investigate the matter, Weiskopf is surrounded by unrelenting support.

Weiskopf’s focus on the game was an opportunity to look past the negativity and highlight the good in the community.

“It’s really special what they’re doing,” Weiskopf said.

“This was a bad situation and someone did something silly, and we just want to show him that you’re a Viking and you’re good with us,” the principal added.

An ugly act ultimately highlighted the good in a community and marked a win for the teen.

“When bad things happen, it shows that someone is always there for you,” Weiskopf said.