During a ceremony at the Miami Open on Saturday, Nike athlete Nick Kyrgios stood with tennis players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the site of a February shooting that killed 17 students and teachers. But that’s not all the Australian pro did to make sure the kids left with an uplifting experience.
According to a Miami Herald report, Kyrgios invited nine students from the boys’ and girls’ teams to meet with him before and after his match Saturday to chat tennis and also gave them the opportunity to train with him.
The 20th-ranked player in the world even brought the players to Practice Court 3 to hit tennis balls and challenge them to return his serve or win points off him. (Reports state two girls managed the feat, earning them yellow compression arm sleeves out of his bag.)
After the Australian defeated Dusan Lajovic, Kyrgios kept the connection going, surprising the players with a sit-down chat about tennis and life. For the survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting, Kyrgios told the Miami Herald he was simply doing his part.
“I don’t think I’ve done anything that special, just to bring them out there to a training session, to give them the opportunity to meet professionals and make their day, that’s easy for me,” Kyrgios explained to the publication. “It made the training session more fun for me and, obviously, it’s a tough time for them, so if they can get out here and get their minds on something else, it’s pretty important.”
Kyrgios also made sure the teams were outfitted head-to-toe in Nike, including new sneakers and apparel from the Swoosh and also hooked them up with Beats headphones.
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