ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S., a time to give thanks for the things we have and the loved ones both in our lives and formerly in our lives. And in that spirit, there’s a story today out of Los Angeles about Clippers point guard Chris Paul that shows why he’s not only an All-Star on the court, but off the court as well.
Tonight in Detroit, the Pistons will host the Clippers. In the stands, Paul will play host to Jack Gallagher, a 13-year-old fan from Pennsylvania who lost his mother, Lisa, in September to an aggressive form of brain cancer. Paul will play tonight with Lisa’s initial, L.E.G., written on his sneakers.
After seeing a video on Twitter about the family, Paul reached out and formed a bond. As Ben Bolch writes in the Los Angeles Times…
The family videotaped and photographed nearly every moment so that Lisa could savor her final days with those who mattered most. A video of Jack discussing his mother’s devotion to his basketball career and of his desire to have Paul write Lisa’s initials on his shoes for an NBA game left Paul wanting to make his own gesture, however small.
“To know that someone cares about me that much to where his mom did that for him and to know he put that on his mom’s grave,” Paul said, “I got goose bumps, I got chills.”
Paul has wowed Jack since the boy started watching him on television three years ago. “I liked how he threw the alley-oops and everything and his ballhandling and his great vision,” said Jack, 13.
Jack had been a point guard until recently sprouting to 5 feet 9, a growth spurt that prompted his coach to start playing him at shooting guard and forward. He wears No. 3 this season — Paul’s number — in addition to a new pair of CP3s purchased by his father.
Jack may never want for shoes again after receiving the care package Paul intends to give him. But Paul will take possession of the more meaningful gift: a framed montage of photos showing Jack and Lisa along with a cutout of the tongue of the CP3s the mom had given her son.