Even though he has been homeless since 2009, Toney High is such a fixture at Detroit sporting events that he was featured in an MLB.com story about the city during the Tigers' run to the 2012 World Series. High provides musical entertainment with his trusty trombone, and his presence outside sports venues in downtown Detroit is somewhat of a civic institution.
But while performing in Detroit's Greektown last month, High was mugged for his trombone and glasses. When WXYZ in Detroit reported on what had happened to High, the station said it received numerous offers from people wanting to help High get a new trombone.
One of those volunteers was Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who told WXYZ that he will take care of getting High a trombone in addition to some perks: Ansah has invited High to play the trombone at a Lions practice and will give him tickets to the team's Week 3 game against the Packers.
"I love music," Ansah told WXYZ of his decision to help High. "But I can't play any instruments. When I heard the story, it was just like a no-brainer."
Here's the full WXYZ account of the feel-good ending to a heartbreaking story:
Ansah led NFL rookies with eight sacks last season after being the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft. A native of Ghana, Ansah attended BYU on an academic scholarship, then joined the football team as a walk-on.