The New Orleans Hornets made a young boy’s dream come true by hosting Brandon and his family for a night at “The Hive.” Brandon and his family were granted courtside access which included meeting several Hornets players, going on the court during a break in the game and even spending some time with Hornets owner Mr. George Shinn.
Brandon is fighting a tough battle against lukemia and was originally referred to A Child’s Wish to have his original wish granted which was an electronics shopping spree. Brandon picked out a new big screen TV that his family can enjoy plus a new XBox console and games for himeself. And since Brandon’s wish took place in May at the height of the Hornets historic playoff run – Brandon asked if he could attend a home game with his family.
Even though the game was sold out the Hornets set aside tickets for Brandon and his family. Their night on the town started with a limo ride from home with his family and big smiles all around. Upon arriving at the New Orleans arena he had the chance to meet the Hornets playes during their shootaround and even take a couple of shots himself!
Brandon met many of the players and got their autographs on his special souvenir basketball all provided courtesy of the Hornets. Take a look at some of his pictures with the Hornets players and even the owner, Mr. George Shinn!
Right in the middle of the NBA Playoffs we were once again reminded that basketball is just a game. New Orleans superstar Chris Paul wrote the name “Brian” on his shoes for Game 3 in honor of a young fan who passed away before getting to have his wish granted by meeting his basketball hero.
A member the boy’s family contacted A Child’s Wish to ask if they could arrange for him to attend a Hornets game and meet Chris Paul. Brian, age 8, was fighting cancer but his family says that never took off his Chris Paul jersey and was a huge hornets fan.
The Hornets, working through A Child’s Wish, gave the boy playoff tickets to Game 2 vs. the Spurs. But sadly Brian developed a fever and died a few hours later.
According to a New Orleans Times-Picayune story, “Brian told his family that he knew he was going to heaven and that he wanted to meet Jesus wearing his Chris Paul jersey.”
“I was speechless,” Paul said before Game 3 Thursday night. “Even now, it’s something that words can’t describe. This is probably one of the most humbling experiences of my life.”
The Hornets may have lost game 3 but it wasn’t for lack of effort by Paul. He scored 35 points and 9 assists against the multiple time NBA Champs.
Several members of the Hornets organization including the owner, George Shinn were so touched by the story that they have pledged ongoing support to A Child’s Wish to help make other wishes come true before it’s too late. Fans also took notice of the off the court work by the team as recognized in a recent “Letter to the Editor” in the Times-Picayune.
Remember – time is something that we take for granted. But as this story teaches us – for a child with a critical illness time is something to be valued. If you know of a child like this who would like to have a wish granted please contact us today!
2 of America’s biggest stars come together to benefit local Louisiana charities including A Child’s Wish.
The Shaquille O’Neal and Reggie Bush Celebrity Charity Challenge & After Party took place in New Orleans during NBA All-Star Weekend on Friday, February 15, 2008.
Bush was joined by NFL players, NBA players, and other celebrities in an effort to raise money for the 619 Fund which will grant money to various causes in New Orleans including A Child’s Wish, the Father T Foundation, Catholic Charities, and the Crescent House (a women’s abuse shelter Reggie will be building this coming year).
A former LSU graduate and future Hall-of-Famer, O’Neal holds Louisiana close to his heart. He showed that immediately following Hurricane Katrina by personally going down to the city’s ravaged areas and collecting everything from furniture, toiletries, clothes and other items to help storm victims.
“This whole weekend is about people being in New Orleans for New Orleans,” said O’Neal. “We wanted to show people coming together, celebrating what has been done and remembering that there’s still a lot to do. We also wanted to provide a way for people to contribute to what is happening here with the confidence that their money will get to the people who need it.”
Bush’s commitment to the city was evident shortly after he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints. Not only has he personally donated thousands of dollars to the community, but he has also urged his national sponsors to join in.
“This is a great city with great people,” said Bush. “With the corporate and media attention that New Orleans will get during the NBA All-Star game, I wanted to make sure that there was a focus on helping the people that will be here when the parties and games are over. We’re hoping that companies see this as a fun way to get involved with the progress that is happening here. From sponsoring a team to simply making a charitable donation, there are many ways for people to make a difference.”
The Reggie Bush Celebrity Charity Challenge featured live music, food, drinks, and a pool tournament in which two celebrities will take on corporate teams for a chance to win great prizes. A live auction followed the tournament and included unique and one-of-a-kind items and experiences.
The Reggie Bush After Party directly followed the Celebrity Charity Challenge in an adjoining ballroom. The after party was spun by a nationally recognized DJ and featured entertainment from one of the country’s hottest performers.