Good Samaritan returns ring lost in 2006 to Roanoke Catholic alum
For many of us, the cares of teenage years are long behind us.
That is, apart from the glimmering highlights we treasure the most.
"Number two guard, I guess you could say," Turner King said, laughing. "Definitely wasn't a point guard."
In 2005, 16-year-old Turner King played in a roller coaster of a season for Roanoke Catholic.
"We had the talent, we knew that we could win, it just hadn't clicked yet," he recalled with the help of some newspaper clippings.
But when it clicked, it was big. Roanoke Catholic scored the State Championship against Benedictine, winning a ring treasured.
"And so I wanted to wear the ring for good luck in a sense," he said of wearing the ring into the next season.
But bad luck would follow before it got good again. King lost the ring during an away game senior year, miles from home. Their charter bus broke down and they had to wait out for repairs in a hotel lobby near Charlottesville. While washing his hands, Turner took off the ring, not realizing he lost it until he got home.
He immediately called the hotel and called a couple months after that.
"I think I even called a few years after that," he said. "...I didn't think I would ever get it back."
But in October, Debbie Stump took a call - the first of its kind in her 25 years working as a Director of Development for Roanoke Catholic.
A stranger in Nellysford was ring shopping in her hometown and came across a championship ring she thought might be missed. She read the year and the name inscribed on the ring to Stump.
"I recognized the name immediately!"
She knew the name on the ring, because she was in the stands the night of the win.
"That one, yes, yes indeed!"
She got in touch with the man's wife, who happens to work just down the hall in a second-grade classroom.
"Kinda restores your faith in humanity a bit," Blake King said laughing.
The stranger mailed King the ring, who wrapped it up and waited very patiently.
"I did actually make him open it Christmas eve because I couldn't wait until Christmas Day!" she said.
King carefully concealed the ring under layers of boxes and paper and watched eagerly as her husband opened it up.
"So my initial thought was, oh, she had the ring remade, that's great, that's awesome," he said. "But then she encouraged me to read the letter that came with it."
In her letter, this stranger said while shopping her curiosity peaked. She bought and mailed it, hoping the ring's return would be a special moment in time. In return, she asked only that the Turners make a donation to a local hospice for her effort, after seeing the care a loved one had received there.
"For her to go out of her way to do that," Turner King said, "not a lot of people would do that."
While looking backward, Turner has paid it forward, leaving him to treasure the gift of the present.
What does he plan to do with it?
"Not lose it!" he said.