Anthony Muobike loves basketball with his whole heart and says superstar LeBron James is his “inspiration.”
The Edmonton, Canada, teen spends up to four hours each day dribbling a ball in his driveway. He didn’t have a net of his own, so he used a pile of sticks instead. When the man who lives next door stopped by one day, Anthony feared the worst.
“I thought that whenever I dribble it made a racket and people want to sleep or something like that,” the teen said. “I did not know that dribbling that ball, practicing at least maybe two or four hours a day, would actually have an influence.”
Anthony needn’t have worried. The man, neighbor Ian Ray, wasn’t mad at all. In fact, he came bearing gifts! A few days before, he’d made a request on the local North Side Facebook page on Anthony’s behalf.
“This kid lives in our community and is outside every day dribbling his basketball, when he’s not dribbling he’s watching siblings or walking his dog,” Anthony wrote. “He is such a good kid and I would love if anyone had a basketball net they’re not using or willing to part with so this kid had a hoop to shoot at. Thanks and have a great day fellow northsiders.”
Their community did not disappoint! Neighbors raised $750 for a new hoop, but then Canadian Tire announced that they’d purchase Anthony a brand new net themselves!
The cash was converted to a gift card for a Canadian sporting goods store so Anthony could get anything else he needed to be a proper baller.
Anthony’s jaw hit the ground when Ian showed up at his door with the new net and gift card. The teen’s family has only lived in the neighborhood for a year, so the fact that their community rallied to give him a gift meant a lot.
“I’m really humbled and I’m really grateful,” Anthony said. “We’ve all been through some hard times and people need something to be happy about, to uplift them.”
But wait, there’s more! Global News Canada ran a story about the community’s gift, which quickly went viral. Soon it was widely shared on social media, and none other than Anthony’s idol, LeBron James, happened to see it!
“This is pure and beautiful! That community is amazing no one can fulfill their dream alone,” James wrote. “Anthony keep working kid!! You have another fan in me.”
Anthony was overjoyed that James noticed him, and his mother, Leticia Muobike, was moved to tears over all the kindness shown to their family.
“The messages I saw, the love, the support, I’m so proud to live in this community,” Leticia said. “We saw LeBron James post earlier. I was speechless. I was shaking. I was in shock. I told my son, he was crying.”
Ian’s spontaneous Facebook message also landed Anthony a spot at Royal Crown Academic School next year, where he will enroll in their elite basketball program. It’s amazing how much good you can create when you pay attention and ask for help!
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