Shaquille O’Neal knows what it’s like to be a big-footed teenager without the means to purchase speciality shoes.
So, when the 47-year-old learned of Brittany Keith’s struggle to afford size 18 shoes for her 13-year-old, Zach, he decided to help. The ex-NBA star purchased 10 pairs of shoes for the youngster, surprising him at Atlanta-based shoe store Friedman’s.
A single mother, Brittany had posted about her plight on Instagram a week ago, asking if anyone would be able to help her find — and afford — shoes large enough to accommodate her son.
“It’s hard finding shoes and cleats in his size let alone being able to afford them at times,” she explained, adding that her son plays basketball and football for his middle school teams. “He’s almost in a size 19 and I need help. If you can do anything to help I will be so appreciative.”
For the former Los Angeles Laker, yesterday was a full circle moment of sorts. When he himself was an Atlanta teenager unable to afford shoes for his high school prom, Shaq received a free pair of penny loafers from Friedman’s, the same store where he bought Zach’s footwear. The 7-foot-1 “NBA on TNT” analyst wears a size 22.
“I’m gonna take care of the kid today because somebody did it for me,” O’Neal told CBS 46. “I’m doing it for the kid….That should last him for a long time.”
As for Zach, the 8th grader couldn’t believe his luck at getting to meet an NBA legend considered by many to be an all-time great.
“To meet Shaquille O’Neal, All-Star player, one of my All-Star favorites [I was] surprised, shocked,” he said.
Below, go behind the scenes with Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry at his FN cover shoot.
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