NBA star LeBron James morphed a high school basketball player's dream into a reality Saturday night — one that she will never forget.
Ebony Nettles-Bey, 16, has stage-four Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer in the soft tissues of her body. Back in February, the Twitter hashtag #LeBronMeetEbony trended and the Madison, Wisconsin girl was invited to see the Miami Heat play against the Milwaukee Bucks.
[sharequote align="center"]“All I knew was that we were coming in to watch the game."[/sharequote]
“All I knew was that we were coming in to watch the game. I was telling my friends, maybe he’ll wave or run past and smile at us,” Nettles-Bey told the Wisconsin State Journal.
James had a lot more in mind.
Ebony Nettles-Bey takes a shot during warm-ups, ntext to Miami Heat's LeBron James, before the the Heat's NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Before the game started, a representative for the Bucks walked out and told Nettles-Bey's group that they would be providing dinner. Instead, the 16-year-old girl was led alone into the Heat's locker room.
From there, she not only met her idol James, but even led his team out onto the floor for their pre-game warmups.
“I was speechless. It was pretty exciting,” Nettles-Bey she told the Journal. “I couldn’t say anything. I just started crying tears of joy .… It meant everything to me.”
[sharequote align="center"]“I couldn’t say anything. I just started crying tears of joy .… It meant everything to me.”[/sharequote]
James talked to her as she took turns shooting baskets with the team, asking her to show him her jump shot.
“I felt a lot of pressure to make one. I finally did — one out of four,” she said. “He said I couldn’t walk off the floor until I made a shot.”
James spoke highly of Nettles-Bey, who continues to play on her school basketball team, despite her cancer.
“It was great to be around her, to see her enthusiasm and her fight,” James told the Journal. “She was out there like she doesn’t have anything wrong. So full of energy. She loves basketball. It’s keeping her going. It’s part of her life. I wanted to make something special happen for her.
Afterwards, Nettles-Bey was at a loss for words about what to say.
“It was an unforgettable experience. I didn’t think it was going to happen,” she told WITI-TV. “I didn’t know what to say. I was just speechless.”
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