Team president Jeanie Buss (l) hosting train heroes Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler at Sunday night's game. Photo courtesy of the L.A. Lakers
Team president Jeanie Buss (l) hosting train heroes Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler at Sunday night’s game. Photo courtesy of the L.A. Lakers

Three friends from boyhood who became American heroes for foiling a terrorist attack on a train in Paris in August were honored at tonight’s Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons game at Staples Center.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone, Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler received a standing ovation when they were introduced on the court between the first and second quarters. They were accompanied by Laker Girl dancers who held the gold Laker No. 1 jerseys each were given before the game by team President Jeanie Buss.

Sadler wore a Laker T-shirt when he foiled the attack and at some media events afterward. He wore the same T-shirt when he, Skarlatos and Sadler were presented with the jerseys.

“A lot of people felt Anthony was a Lakers employee,” Buss said. “Lakers Nation felt very connected because wouldn’t it just be like someone involved with the Lakers to step out and be a leader.”

Sadler, who was raised in Sacramento, said he became a Laker fan because of their perennial all-star guard Kobe Bryant, despite receiving ridicule from Sacramento Kings fans.

Sadler met Bryant before the game and said he was “star-stuck.”

Sadler took the half-court and 3-point shots between the third and fourth quarters where a monetary prize and stay at a Las Vegas hotel are given for made shots, but missed both.

Stone said Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris that left 129 people dead “makes me realize what could have happened if we didn’t do what he did that day.”

Stone said he initially felt very angry about Friday’s attack.

“I just feel for the people of France,” Stone said. “I feel very connected to them.”

Stone said when he and his friends initially boarded the train on Aug. 21, they sat in the middle “but the Wi-Fi was bad,” so they moved to the first-class section for which they had purchased tickets.

Stone said he “woke up from a little slumber, got turned around and immediately saw the guys. Super-obvious what he came in and planed to do. There’s wasn’t a lot of thinking. I just got up and went and tackled him.

“Alek and Anthony ran up and subdued him. We controlled the situation. Alek provided the security and Anthony was helping me getting the first aid kit.”

Stone was stabbed multiple times in a fight with a group of men while leaving a bar with friends in Sacramento last month. Police said the attack was not related to Stone’s involvement in thwarting the Paris train attack.

Stone said he “feels almost 100 percent again, but I know I’m not so I have to watch it.”‘

Skarlatos is competing on “Dancing with the Stars.” Buss asked Laker fans to vote for him on the ABC dancing series.

— City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.