Compete Network Feature Stories

Two MVPs and the shoes – a heartwarming story of respect



By Connie Wardman


If you’ve never been a LeBron James fan, now’s the time to change your mind! He’s undoubtedly an NBA star with stats that have made him a Nike-sponsored athlete for life. But he’s also a wonderful human being who came back to make the Cleveland Cavaliers a top notch team instead of the butt of many jokes. That’s because he also came back to support his beloved home town of Akron and the surrounding area, providing scholarships for many of the area youth.

But the latest and perhaps one of the most endearing actions he’s taken occurred at the December 15th Cavs 89-77 win over the Boston Celtics at the Garden. At halftime, high school student Aaron Miller was recognized for having received the MVP award at the city’s recent Special Olympics competition.

James decided to take a minute out of the game to run over to the sidelines to personally recognize Miller. Just look at the surprise and joy on Miller’s face! And when the game was over, James came over to Miller and gave him the shoes he’d worn during the game as a sign of respect from one MVP to another.

Whitney Medworth of SB Nation wrote that “After the game, James said he saw Aaron Miller’s story on the jumbotron and went over to him after realizing where he was sitting. The moment was more than just James doing something nice for the TV cameras.”

According to ESPN, James said, “”He also had my shoes on. I designed those shoes for kids with conditions where they can’t tie their own shoestrings, and he had a pair on. Those shoes that he had on are made for kids that can’t tie their own shoes, and it’s just one strap. When I saw his story, it was just like, I don’t know, I felt like I was a part of him. Just showing my respect, gave him my shoes. It was well received by him. It was not for you guys or the fans. It was for him.”

An act from the heart like this made by a sports star is always heartwarming. And so close to the holidays it makes me think that LeBron James’ next title should be “Santa’s Helper.” How about you?



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