He was the Humboldt Broncos statistician, but 18-year-old Brody Hinz was so much more to the community.
Hinz was tragically killed in the team’s bus crash Friday night.
Three women from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Humboldt sat down with 980 CJME to chat about the teenager, who was involved with the organization for roughly half his short life.
“Brody was our teddy bear,” described Jodie Hergott. “He was just such a gentle soul. He was always positive.”
She said Hinz first became a little brother when he was just nine.
Morgan Forster vividly remembered the first time she met him.
“The very first time I met him we actually went to a Broncos game. He was sitting beside me and he was like nine years old and he was giving me all these stats and I’m like ‘You know a lot of things about this hockey game.’ I was so impressed,” she recalled.
His passion for sports and stats is a big part of how Amy Hogemann will remember Hinz, having known him since the summer of 2007 and having been involved with him as a caseworker for eight years.
“I’ve learned more statistics and more trade deals than I will ever learn for the rest of my life through Brody,” said Hogemann.
But sports wasn’t the only thing that defined him.
“He knew the value of giving back to our community and he did it, and he didn’t just talk about it, he did it,” said Hergott, adding he was a role model.
The women said Hinz helped out as a volunteer and came to every community event Big Brothers Big Sisters of Humboldt had.
He would have graduated high school in June and Forster said his plan was to become a big brother himself.
The painful reality of him being gone has sunk in for her in ways she may not have expected.
“I pass by him every morning when he walks to school and we waved every morning. This morning there was school and I was looking for Brody but…” she didn’t complete her sentence as the tears in her eyes did it for her.
Hogemann said Hinz wanted to make a living doing something sports-related, and together they talked about ideas like the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, the owner of an NHL team or even a professional broadcaster. His dreams seemed to be as high as the sky. Now looking down from the sky, Hinz’s caring nature is what Hogemann hopes lives on.
“I think his warm, giant heart is what I hope that people remember of Brody and his thoughtfulness and his capacity to just help wherever he could.”