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.