BY Dollita Okine, 11:00am February 28, 2024,

This is how Shaq tracked down the Kansas City teen in need of size 23 shoes and surprised him

Photo: KCTV

A 16-year-old received the surprise of his life when NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal responded to his appeal for assistance in an unexpected way.

Jor’el Bolden first told KCTV about his trouble getting size 23 shoes for his foot. To acquire the funds for her son’s custom shoes, which would have cost over $1000, Tamika Neal started a GoFundMe page. 

Before long, contributions from their Kansas City neighborhood flooded in, totaling more than $11,000. Neal told the network, “I’m overwhelmed and excited because [his foot size] is something I don’t have control over but as a parent not being able to provide something that your kid needs – it does something to you- so just having people reach out and pull through for us.” “It was amazing.”

The story soon went viral, gaining national coverage. The mother recounted receiving a call from Entertainment Tonight informing her that “someone special wants to talk to you.”

She was unaware, but the person who asked to talk to Bolden and bring him a gift was none other than the generous former NBA player Shaq.

He called the teen on FaceTime after receiving his phone number. Neal revealed that her son was not wearing a shirt at the time, prompting her to apologize to the celebrity. Nonetheless, Shaq dismissed it sarcastically, asking, “What’s up big sexy?”

Less than a week after the conversation, three large boxes arrived at Bolden’s door. The mother commented, “It’s better than Christmas morning, Santa didn’t send this, Shaq did.”

They weren’t prepared for the sight of about twenty brand-new pairs of shoes, brand-new clothing, and pieces from Shaq’s closet within the boxes.

Bolden was able to wear the shoes because Shaq wears a 22-wide, but he feels that a 23 would suit him better. Neal stated that the money would still be used to purchase larger shoes since Bolden is still growing. 

The teen, who chose his favorite item as the Papa John’s shirt from Shaq’s days performing commercials for the company, expressed his appreciation to everyone, stating, “Thank you for spending the time and money that you have earned to give to me when I needed it. Thank you for everything that will come from it and has already happened.”

According to Bolden, the funds will be helpful as he makes plans for the future. He expressed his desire to become a professional athlete, similar to Shaq, but specifically a boxer.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 28, 2024


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