Friday, April 3, 2009

Boy with lung disease meets Chalmers during visit to Miami

One of KU's biggest little fans was flown to Miami for some one-on-one time with former KU standout Mario Chalmers.


Eleven-year-old Michael Douglas, of Wellsville, now can say he has walked in his favorite basketball player’s size 12 1/2 shoes.

The Kansas University super fan and his family were flown to Miami for a weekend of NBA action and one-on-one time with Mario Chalmers and his family — courtesy of the Miami Heat.

After hearing about his story “A little Miracle” that appeared in the Journal-World, the team rolled out the red carpet for the fifth-grader, who has a rare lung disease.

Shortly after the story published, Michael was invited to the KU men’s basketball team locker room after the Jayhawks beat Iowa State, 72-55. He met Coach Bill Self and all of the players. The team sent him home with a big bag of KU memorabilia.

And last Saturday, Michael, his parents and older sister were picked up in a limousine and taken to American Airlines Arena where they got to meet Chalmers before the Heat’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“That’s my man right there. He’s wearing my jersey,” Chalmers said to Michael.

Chalmers gave Michael a pair of game-worn shoes that he autographed on each toe and a $200 gift certificate to the Miami Heat store.

The Douglases, seated in the fourth row, watched Miami win, 102-85. Michael also got to high-five the team at half-time and have his picture on the Jumbotron.

On Sunday, the family attended the 12th annual Miami Heat Family Fun Festival. During the three-hour benefit for charities, Michael shot hoops with Chalmers and Dwyane Wade.

“It was fantastic,” Michael said.


Lance Hobson 10 years, 9 months ago

Good for him, this story reminds me of the original superfan - the late, great Ryan Gray.

truefan 10 years, 9 months ago

Sad story. I hope the kid isn't terminal and he gets to have this memory with him for the rest of his long life. Good for you Mario, and keep fighting Michael.

Don Everett 10 years, 9 months ago

I can only guess that other schools may make this happen, but I know KU does. KU, the coaches, the players, etc. always entertain/lookout for the less fortunate. The Special Olyimpics, the players buying Christmas gifts, etc. is awesome. It just goes to show the generosity of everyone involved with KU.

Jim Jackson 10 years, 9 months ago

great story, hope Michael pulls through!

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