ESPN gets a lot of criticism for some of the stuff they do and some of the people they employ, but if there is one thing they do that is consistently outstanding, it is the “My Wish” series. For the last 7 years, ESPN has partnered with the Make A Wish foundation to grant kids their ultimate sports wish.
Basically anytime I see Chris Connolly on ESPN and hear the intro, I know there is a chance that in the next 7 minutes I will be crying like an idiot into my Honey Nut Cheerios. This years first installment, where a 17 year old cancer survivor who had his high school basketball career derailed due to the illness, gets to join the Miami Heat for practice and have a private shootaround with LeBron James.
Of course this happened before the Heat won the NBA Championship. Thiago’s mother gave him permission to go to Miami for the parade, but the Heat had an extra surprise.
As the family watched the final seconds of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Laura knew that her work schedule wouldn’t let her go to Miami that week, but Thiago’s older sister agreed to accompany him to the parade. When Thiago arrived in Miami, his mother had another surprise for him.
“I called him and said I had really bad news for him,” Laura said. “‘Son, I hate to tell you this, but Ancel Pratt [the Heat’s community affairs coordinator] is giving you tickets for the arena celebration, so you’ll have to be inside watching the team celebrate.’ He was running around the airport screaming and celebrating.”
It is always cool to see athletes do this kind of stuff, especially the really high profile guys. Amazing when you think that someone like John Cena just granted his 300th wish.