CHICAGO — Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor certainly made his mark at a Chicago Cubs game last week. But he may have made a more significant impression on a group of young athletes who had a chance to spend time with the megastar.
Last Tuesday, McGregor’s heavily criticized first pitch at Wrigley Field made the rounds, but Chrissy Briceno, a Mather High School senior, heaped nothing but praise McGregor’s way.
“He really took time to talk with us, which I say was a great experience,” Briceno said.
Sandburg High school senior James White agreed.
“It was just an awesome experience to meet him,” White said. “It was really cool to see someone so powerful from a business and athletic standpoint.”
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion surprised several Chicago-area student-athletes last week who are dedicated to their sports on the field and the communities off of it.
“It carries that theme no matter how big you get, no matter how successful you are, giving back is always the main priority,” said Ciara Hosty.
McGregor even stuck around the Cubs game on Tuesday to sing the 7th inning stretch.
“The next day, I went to school. A lot of people couldn’t believe it. I was walking down the hallway and everyone was like, ‘how is Conor McGregor?’ And I told them not only is he a nice and passionate guy but he’s a family person,” Addison Trail high schooler Mateo Gomez said.
Buddy’s Helpers and Tidl Sport sponsored the surprise appearance.