Big Z Loves the Kids

Even ones that are hanging on to precious pieces of personal memorabilia: “The ball Cleveland Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas used to score his 10,000th career point turned up in the hands of a local youngster who left with it after it was thrown into the seats at Quicken Loans Arena following a March 21 game against Atlanta. Ilgauskas, who hit the 10,000 mark early in the first quarter, was hoping to find the ball and keep it as a memento. There was even an outcry for its return by some local media outlets. The 8-year-old boy’s mother contacted the Cavs to say her son had the ball and wanted to return it. But the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas, as gentle a giant as there is in the NBA, told the youngster to keep it as a souvenir. ‘I felt bad for him,’ Ilgauskas said. ‘He took an uncalled for beating for it in the last couple days. For me, it was more about the journey and not the ball. I want him to have peace with it. I don’t need the ball.'”