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Roy Hibbert helping fulfill wish of dying child

Aug 8, 2012, 4:19 PM EDT

Roy Hibbert AP

This is a great story. Professional athletes (at least some of them) do more of this than gets made public, but this is a special situation and special move.

Roy Hibbert, the center of the Indiana Pacers (who got a max contract extension this summer), is flying across the country because the wish of one child was to meet him and see him play, but the young boy might not make it to that long.

From Mike Wells of the Indy Star:

Lee Eddins had hoped he would be able to watch his idol, center Roy Hibbert, play in person when the Indiana Pacers visit Sacramento, Calif., for a game against the Kings in late November. But Lee, 12, is not expected to live that long…

So Hibbert has planned a special surprise. Later this week, he is flying to Sacramento to meet Lee.

“Once I heard he had a dying wish, I knew I had to do something more than send him presents and Skype with him on the computer,” Hibbert said. “I’m usually uncomfortable going to hospitals when the Pacers do events because it’s pretty tough to see kids in that situation. Once I heard about (Lee), I realized I had to get over it and do it for him.”

Good for Hibbert. And good luck to Lee.

I don’t want to go all NBA Cares promo here, but there are good guys in this league who do good things for people. Who don’t just do it for the recognition or tax write-off. Hibbert is one of those guys.

  1. cowboys8819 - Aug 8, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Awesome story good for Hibbert and best of wishes for the boy!

    • skids003 - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      I just read this. You have a new fan, Roy. Thank you for this for the young man.

  2. dsjcn3 - Aug 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    This is great. Hope the kid is able to make it to the SAC-IND game in the future too

    • mottmom - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Unfortunately, we lost the boy. But he WILL be remembererd at the SAC-IND game!

  3. rsb06d - Aug 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Great article to read instead of that bum named Dwight Howard missing out on kids’ camps bc of his “back”

  4. surefooted1 - Aug 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Great story, not only about helping the kid, but about Hibbert overcoming his own fears (kids in hospitals) to help fulfill the wish. I’m sure he’ll be able to help a few more athlete overcome that same fear (which is real and not limited to athletes).

  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 8, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Two things stick out in this story…

    1) That is extremly kind of Roy Hibbert to take the time out of his own life to make a dream come true for someone who might not have enough time of his own. I hope he beats the odds, he’s just too young and there is so much more life for this youngster to experience.

    2) Who has Roy Hibbert as his favorite player!??

    I like Hibbert too, but dang! How does this happen unless he’s a family member, close friend, went to school/grew up in the same town as him, or just a huge Indiana Pacer fan living in Sac town?

    • mottmom - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Believe it or not, I have two adult sons now who GREW UP researching baseball & basketball players and following them through college, into professionals. As young as 10, 11, 12 +, they could recite stats that would knock your socks off, and they loved to retain very mundane information. At draft time for NFL, my husband would ask my boys about certain players stats and they could usually answer. In this case, Lee was an AVID football & basketball fan. He had followed Roy since Georgia. He may also have had an affinity for the “Pacers” because his local Pop Warner football league is the “Pacers.” Either way, I understand the unique situation of a boy who loved a player from across the country. I had the pleasure of meeting Roy when he was here in Sac. I watched this whole effort come together to grant Lee’s wish and I ASSURE you, that it was 100% + all Roy’s heart – no other connection. And really a miracle. I’m not sure I care which teams wins on November 30th, but I’ll be rooting for ROY!!!

  6. progress2011 - Aug 8, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    DUDE…..I have INSTANTLY become a huge Roy Hibbert fan !!! Yes, I’m a bandwagoner of anybody that is a good “human being” !!!

    I will pray for them both and cheer for Hibberts successful career !

    Sorry about getting mushy on you dudes but MAN…children are my weakness. Anyone that goes out of their way to help little people, I got their back 100.

  7. metalhead65 - Aug 8, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    first off great story about Roy and is an example why pacers fans love the guy. why do you have to mention that he got a max contract along with it? I know you so call experts and stat geeks do not think he is that good or worth it but what was he going to do turn it down? he is one of the best big guys out there and was paid accordingly so why keep harping on it? he is a good dude max contract or not. what other player takes his fans to a movie? just write about the good he does and leave the money out of it.

  8. mydadyourmom - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Damn. Poor Lee and his parents. I cannot imagine. Good job Roy.

  9. chilomane - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Great for Roy, I like how he has worked to become better basketball player and a good person.

  10. Jim Power - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    When Roy Was a Boy
    August 9, 2012
    There are times when you can understand a high school boy better when you close your eyes. Despite the gruff and perhaps even manly appearance a 15 year-old may project, when you listen closely to him, you can often hear the voice of a boy. That was particularly true for me a while back, when I was teaching a youngster who happened to be 7 feet tall. (Warning: Power is about to do some serious name-dropping below.)

    One late August morning about dozen years ago, I was chatting with an amiable lad named Roy Hibbert, then a gangly 2nd year student, when a colleague stopped by to tell me it was time for our new faculty orientation meeting. When Roy heard where I was going, he asked, “Can I go, too? I’d like to welcome the teachers to our school.” How could I say no?

    Roy wasn’t pulling an Eddie Haskel on me. Even with just one year under his belt, he felt so much a part of things and felt so good about his school, that he wanted to share his enthusiasm with our newcomers. Do I need to say that Roy left quite an impression on his new teachers?

    Roy’s good nature was always evident. It was why he was wildly popular when he played basketball for Georgetown Prep and Georgetown University, and it is why he is enjoying the same sort of success today as a NBA all-star for the Indiana Pacers.

    The cynics out there might say, “Hey, I’d be a happy guy too, if I had just signed a max NBA contract.” But Roy’s gentle goodness has nothing to do with money, and I was reminded of that today, when I read the article (below) about how Roy is reaching out to a boy who is dying of leukemia.

    Fame and success haven’t changed Roy. Today when I close my eyes and think of him, I still see that 15 year old boy interested in reaching out to others. At a time when we are bombarded by athletes who disappoint us in so many ways, it’s reassuring to know that there are still those out there whom we can look up to – for a variety of reasons.

  11. mrphootball - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Good for you Roy. I am a diehard lakers fan and as of this article a huge Roy Hibbert fan.

  12. bobby2478 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Very refreshing story to hear, good for Roy and prayers for Lee and his family.

    Too often, the “NBA Cares” thing is just a marketing tool, and most (not all, but enough) do some of those activities because they “have” to, or because they get good publicity from it.

    What Roy is doing for this little boy is different, it’s just a man being a great human being and genuinely feeling and caring for others. I have a ton of respect for people like this that just do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, not out of some sense of obligation.

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