Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal surprised a young fan by buying him 10 pairs of shoes after learning his mother couldn’t afford the boy’s sneakers.
Zach Keith is a 13-year-old basketball player in Georgia who wears a size 18 sneaker. Keith’s mom couldn’t afford her son’s sneakers because they are hard to find.
Shaq could relate because he wears a size 22 shoe. Shaq heard about the teen’s dilemma and he stepped in to help out.
“Mom couldn’t afford shoes. The kid had big feet. I just kind of reminisced about how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal told CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL.
Shaq met Keith and his mom at his favorite shoe store Friedman’s in downtown Atlanta.
Friedman’s stocks extra large shoes for men who have trouble finding their shoe size in retail stores.
Shaq, who lives in a suburb of Atlanta, is a longtime friend of Freidman’s owner, Bruce.
“If they don’t come from Bruce and Freidman’s don’t show them to me,” O’Neal told the station.
Shaq gifted Keith with 10 pairs of shoes and sneakers. He picked out different colors and styles of dress shoes for the grateful teenager.
“This will help a lot. I won’t so much have to worry about buying him dress shoes,” mom, Brittany Keith said. “He hasn’t had a pair of dress shoes in about four or five years because it’s been hard trying to find the ones that actually fit.”
Keith said he was shocked to be in the same room with his idol.
“I’m like, ‘Whoa, he wants to buy me shoes, out of all people?'” he told WGCL.
Shaq said he was inspired to give back after Bruce told him about Keith and his mom.
“I thought this was a good thing to do. Kid plays basketball, and Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor.”