Following the passing of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the sports world has been filled with stories about his career and life both in the boxing ring and outside of it, as well as the impact he made.
At the end of his press conference on Saturday before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer provided his own by telling a great story about the time he, as a 17-year-old kid on his prom night, met the boxing icon and received an autograph from him.
Here is the full transcript of DeBoer's story. It is pretty fantastic.
"I just want to end with a quick thing on Muhammad Ali. Lost a great person. The reason I want to speak about him is I am not a collector of sports memorabilia, but I have maybe three things in my basement. I have a Wayne Gretzky stick, a Bobby Orr print, a Mike Weir Masters print, and I have a Koran signed by Muhammad Ali.
I wouldn't normally share this with you, but I think considering the circumstances today. I got it 30 years ago. I was at my prom at the Royal Connaught Hotel in Hamilton. I was a 17-year-old kid. Had my tux on. I was in the lobby. Muhammad Ali walked in with his entourage. He was there for some type of appearance. I asked one of the entourage if I could meet him with my friends. He said to give him a minute. He came back to me and said Muhammad Ali is up in his room and to meet him up in his room in five minutes.
Me and three or four of my buddies went up to the room. He got out a Koran for each of us. He wasn't preaching or trying to convert us, he just personalized each one for us, asked us some questions about what we were doing. It was an unbelievable experience for me. I think, considering the circumstances, how this guy transcended not just boxing and sport, but how many people he's touched, it's an appropriate story to tell. I know you guys have the time, too, to listen."
DeBoer told the story, without any prompting from the media, after he took his final question of the morning.