LeBron James Meets Cancer-Stricken Girls Basketball Player

by March 30, 2014


The Heat beat the Bucks Saturday in Milwaukee, but that was far from the best story to come from the game—beforehand, LeBron James finally met Ebony Nettles-Bey, a cancer patient who has wanted to meet LeBron and who continues to play basketball as she fights for her life. Per the Sun-Sentinel: 

For all the consternation of falling short in Indianapolis, the Heat followed up the loss to the Pacers with shorthanded blowouts of the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks. During that Saturday victory over the Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center, James provided a victory of another sort.

A social-media victory. A compassionate victory. A victory that transcended the 88-67 final score.

It was a victory that began back in February, when the Twitter hashtag #LeBronMeetEbony went viral. That’s Ebony as in Ebony Nettles-Bey, a 16-year-old girls basketball player for Verona High School in Wisconsin who late last summer had trouble breathing and ultimately was diagnosed with stage-four Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer in the soft tissues.

Then came Saturday, when she was invited to the Bucks’ game against the Heat, told courtside seats were made available for her to watch James, perhaps have him run by in acknowledgment.

Only there was a whole lot more, the Heat and Bucks working behind the scenes on a night that would have her escorting the Heat from the locker room to the court, shooting pregame with the team, lining up alongside James for the national anthem, later receiving his game jersey.

“It meant everything to me,” she said, optimistic about her prognosis, saying her tumors are shrinking. “I just started crying, tears of joy.”