At over 7-feet tall and sporting a size 23 shoe, Shaquille O’Neal understands how difficult it can be to find sneakers that fit. So when he heard about a teenager from Georgia who’s been struggling to afford specially-made shoes, he decided to help out. (Side note: he’s actually Dr Shaq! He’s got a doctoral degree in education!)
Zach Keith is only 13 years old but stands at 6 foot 2 inches and wears a size 18 shoe. His mum, Brittany, posted a message on social media asking Nike, Adidas, Reebok and other big name sports brands for help in finding and paying for new shoes so Zach can continue playing basketball at school.
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For those who said they would help me share this here it is: I’m a single parent of a 13 year old who wears a size 18 shoe. 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. He’s almost in a size 19 and I need help. If you can do anything to help I will be so appreciative. @nike @atlantafalcons @atlhawks @fox5atlanta @adidas @puma @reebok @newbalance @nba @nfl @jumpman23 @11alive @cbs46 @wsbtv @officialeastbay @champssports @footlocker @dickssportinggoods
Through the magical sharing powers of the internet, her plea was picked up by CBS 46 who contacted the NBA legend directly. Shaq then arranged for Brittany to bring Zach to his favourite shoe store in Atlanta, Friedman’s Shoes, where Shaq regularly buys his own size 23s.
The whole thing was a huge surprise for Zach who thought he was just going shoe-shopping with his mum! He ended up hanging with the basketball legend and going home with 10 pairs of new shoes!
Brittany has since posted a message on Instagram thanking everyone who shared her original post: “I am so overwhelmed with all types of feelings right now…You all helped make this happen.”
And, in case you think this story couldn’t get any better…it does.
It turns out Shaq has been going to Friedman’s Shoes since he was 18 years old when the owner gave him a free pair for prom! He has since purchased more than 3000 shoes from the shop.
You know what we always say, kindness has a ripple effect.