REPPING THE ANTHEM — Before we begin this week’s roundup of the finest moments in sports from the weekend, we want to wish a Happy Memorial Day and express a public “thank you” to all those who have served our country.
Remember them well during your day off work, your backyard barbecue, and your trip to the local cemetery.
Honor them like the U.S. women’s national team did Sunday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, as shown in the first video below.
As always, click the video above for each of our Great Clips of the Week.
The greatest generation's harmonica
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve heard a lot of renditions of the Star Spangled Banner. It’s played before virtually every game at every level, with the added bonus of “O Canada” whenever a rival team from North of the Border is in town, as well.
But it’s highly unlikely you’ve heard the U.S. national anthem quite like this.
That’s 96-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPre, who serenaded the U.S. women’s national team — and the country — with his tear-jerking rendition of the anthem on his harmonica prior to Sunday’s 3-0 win over Mexico that featured a goal from Utah Royals star Christen Press.
The United States will try to defend its Women’s World Cup title in France, with group play beginning June 7. But for DuPre and his fellow veterans of “the Greatest Generation,” taking the American flag to France is special.
You see, DuPre was in the Army on June 6, 1944, when American forces launched the D-Day assault on Normandy that eventually led to the end of the war.
U.S. players had a chance to meet DuPre, along with fellow veterans Steve Melnikoff, Frank Devita and Greg Melikian, in Normandy during a trip to France earlier this year. The group shared emotional stories from the war with the women, and then DuPre played “America the Beautiful” on his harmonica.
You can watch the emotional tribute in the video here. It’s well worth your time — but be prepared to hold back tears from the powerful moment.
Donovan Mitchell’s BP
In another life, Donovan Mitchell might be a rookie third baseman with the New York Mets.
The Utah Jazz superstar was an accomplished baseball player in high school, before a wrist injury suffered during his junior season ended his career and sent him to basketball full-time (a move that worked out pretty well, we’d say).
His father, Donovan Sr., was a scout for the Mets while the younger Mitchell was growing up, as well, so the team naturally holds a special place in his heart.
Which is why it wasn’t a surprise when the young Jazz star spent a day with the organization last week, taking batting practice with the MLB club of his youth. And then he casually hit the fence during one of his swings.
No big deal, right?
Congrats, Kealia and J.J.
And finally, congratulations go out to former Alta High star Kealia Ohai and her boyfriend; you may have heard of him — his name is J.J. Watt of the NFL's Houston Texans.
The happy couple posted photos on Instagram announcing their engagement, with Watt excitedly writing, "I’m the luckiest man in the world," with the hashtag #SheSaidYes.
Added Ohai, who plays professionally for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League: "Still can’t believe I get to be with you forever."