Eighteen-year-old Eric has always been a basketball fan. After being diagnosed with a nervous system condition and presented with the opportunity to have a wish granted, he knew immediately it would be to meet Kobe Bryant. Eric's wish came true on December 14, 2013 when the Lakers came to town to play the Bobcats.
He and his family were escorted to Time Warner Arena in a limo to watch the Bobcats play the Lakers. Kim Henderson, the Executive Director of Cats Care Foundation, met them at the entrance and escorted them to their court-side seats! Eric and family sat in the corner right behind the Lakers goal which allowed them to see the action up close. They also got the VIP treatment for the first half of the game – complete with a waiter to come and bring them food and drinks!
Although it was a close game, the Lakers managed to win with Kobe scoring the game-wining shot. After the game, Eric and his family were escorted to a private room. Moments later Kobe appeared in the doorway! Kobe introduced himself to everyone and made himself right at home. Eric received a deluxe gift basket from Kobe and the Lakers that had T-shirts, a pendant, and a Lakers 2013-2014 yearbook. He signed all of the items that Eric brought with him, plus his Make-A-Wish shirt and his game ticket.
Eric got to ask Kobe one question during the meet and greet and and chose to ask, “How did you overcome all the obstacles you faced in your journey to get where you are?” Even though Eric is a quadriplegic, he wants to attend college and eventually law school. Kobe gave him a very thoughtful pep talk about hard work. He told him that it didn’t matter what the world says, if he wants something bad enough, he should work hard. Kobe is a firm believer that if you work hard enough, the things you want will fall into place. Eric smiled ear to ear through the whole meet and greet, and on their way back out to the van, he told one of our staff members that this had been the best night of his life.