Shaquille O'Neal buys 10 pairs of shoes for teen who wears size 18 after his mom struggled to find them
O'Neal, who has had his own troubles buying shoes for his massive size 23 feet, jumped in and helped when he heard about the family's ordeal
The mother of a Georgia teenager, aspiring to be a basketball and football player, who could not afford to buy her son the size 18 shoes he needed saw her pleas for help answered by none other than NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.
Brittany Keith of Douglasville, Georgia, took to her Instagram page on Saturday, May 4, to ask for financial help so she could buy her 13-year-old, 6'2'' son Zach the shoes and cleats he needed to compete in football and basketball.
"I'm a single parent of a 13-year-old who wears a size 18 shoe," she wrote in an emotional post where she tagged the likes of Nike, Puma, Reebok, The Atlanta Falcons, the NFL, and a few other local news channels. "He plays basketball and football for J.W. Stewart Middle School and will be attending Douglas County High School in the fall."
"It's hard finding shoes and cleats in his size, let alone being able to afford them at times," she continued. "He's almost a size 19 and I need help. If you can do anything to help, I would be so appreciative."
Her post eventually drew the attention of Atalanta's CBS 46, who, in turn, contacted O'Neal and requested his help. The 47-year-old NBA legend, who has had his own struggles with buying shoes for his massive size 23 feet, was more than happy to help.
O'Neal arranged for the mother-son pair to visit Friedman's Shoes in Atlanta, his self-professed favorite big-and-tall shoe store, because of the emotional connection he shares with the owner Bruce Friedman who gave the basketball star a free pair of dress shoes for prom when he was 18.
"Bruce gave me a pair of shoes when I was 18 years old for free, so I'ma take care of the kid today because somebody did it for me. I'm doing it for the kid," O'Neal explained. Indeed he admitted that, since then, he's bought over 3,000 pairs of shoes from the store.
Zach, however, did not know he would be meeting O'Neal during his shopping trip. "I told him that we were going to go to a shoe store and that we were just going around looking at shoes and seeing if we could afford a pair," his mother explained.
But when they got there, they found the 47-year-old basketball star waiting for them on a shoe bench. Zach couldn't help but be stunned, though he did manage to shake off the momentary shock and greet one of his heroes. "I wasn't expecting that. To meet Shaquille O'Neal, all-star player, one of my all-star favorites, surprised, shocked."
O'Neal bought the teen 10 pairs of shoes, and his mother was lost for words at the NBA's legend's kindness. "I'm am so overwhelmed with all types of feelings right now," she said. "Thanks to everyone who shared my post. You all helped make this happen and kept pushing me to post... Words can't express how I'm feeling."