Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Saturday June 26th the NBA again was so gracious in inviting our family to their event to help raise awareness for Justin's Quest. We left our house at 10 am and drove up 2 hours to the event in Great Plaza at Penn's Landing over looking the water. We arrived at 1:15pm and we received again VIP treatment from the NBA. We had VIP parking and the NBA had a area sectioned off with drinks and food for us and their employees. They gave Justin some goodies. It was a very hot day and Justin could not wait to get on his assigned basketball court, Kia Motors sponsored court. But first we had to go to the section where the Taste of Philadelphia was happening. What do you think we ate, obviously steak and cheeses subs as Philly is so famous for this delicacy. Justin also had to get a Cinnamon pretzel. The kids were well fed and hydrated and Justin insisted that we start shooting to warm up. The NBA Nation had arranged that Justin's Quest had the use of the court from 3-4pm for the crowd to shoot free throws to count towards our 63,000 goal. Justin and his brothers warmed up for about 15 minutes before and made 32 shots. The time came and the surprise guests,former 76'ers NBA player Darryl Dawkins, AKA Chocolate Thunder, and Thaddeus Young from the 76'ers current team. I told the kids about Darryl Dawkins that morning and showed them the youtube video of him shattering the backboard with one of his monstrous dunks, the kids were amazed. I shook Darryl's hand and his hand was so huge that my hand disappeared. Justin and the boys were so excited to meet Darryl and Thaddeus. Both men picked up Justin to have him dunk the ball. Every 5 minutes the PA announcers would announce for people to participate in Justin's Quest and and tell them why Justin was there and what his quest was. Audrey and I looked at each other in amazement that the NBA is helping us out and that is is all about Justin and his quest to find a cure for brain tumors. It still stings when we hear the description that " Justin is a 13 year old boy diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor". WE feel so proud of Justin and his brothers for what they are doing. They made 272 shots during the hour and Darryl made the last free throw which he shot one handed. After Justin's event was over, we watched the slam dunk contest and that was awesome. Justin again was all smiles but very determined to make his shots especially when the TV cameras were on him, he turns into a NBA pro and swishes his shots. We want to give a big THANK YOU to The NBA and NBA Nation for allowing us to participate in their event and help us raise awareness for brain tumors.
Friday, June 25, 2010
NBA Fit Clinic in New York
June 23rd was an amazing day for Justin and his Quest. The NBA and The NBA Cares Program invited Justin and the family to Madison Square Garden in New York for their NBA Fit Clinic. The NBA was so gracious in having us part of this wonderful event. Justin could not sleep the night before because he was excited about the event. I got the kids up, Justin, Jacob and Joey at 6am to get ready. Unfortunately, Jordan and Audrey could not attend as Jordan had a college recruitment camp for soccer and she had to take him to southern Virginia. We left the house to go to the train station for a 8:20am train. The boys have never been on a train and were very excited for the ride. We met Jeff Kolodin, Vice Chair of NBTS, his son Michael and Chris Grundner with NBTS on the train. We arrived in New York at 12:30 pm and had a wonderful lunch at a diner nearby the Garden. Justin was getting antsy and he wanted to get to the Garden to practice shooting, so Chris called his NBA contact and they let us into the locker room where they had drinks and snacks for us and a special goody bag for Justin with alot of NBA gear. Wow we were being treated like VIP's. Justin and the boys took to the court and started shooting hoops before the event started at 3pm. The clinic was hosted by former NBA player's Bob Lanier and Felipe Lopez. Then the top 15 draft prospects arrived to do drills with the kids at the different stations set up on the court in the Garden. Before the festivities started Bob Lanier had some very kind words to say about Justin and his quest and how proud he was of Justin. Again, as a father seeing in disbelief that your son who has a brain tumor is making such a huge difference in trying to find a cure for brain tumors is incredibly emotional. You would think it would be easier for me to witness these events but I am filled with such emotion about the enormity of the situation that it is an awesome sight. Justin had a chance to shoot hoops and meet the draftees and especially John Wall who was drafted by the Washington Wizards. There were 100 boys and girls from the New York area that participated in the event. All of the shots that were made counted towards Justin's Quest. Overall 519 baskets were made and added to our total of 14,100. At the end of the event Justin was presented with 2 huge surprises, 2 signed basketballs, 1 signed by President Obama and the other by the 15 top draftees. Justin was very excited he has quite a collection of signed basketballs. You could see in his face his smile and the determination that he is raising awareness and trying to find a cure for brain tumors. Then we stayed after the event was over to do TV interviews. We left the Garden for our 5:40pm train at Penn station for a quick dinner in the station. I was mentally wiped and emotionally drained from the day. I got on the train had the 4 boys sit together and I sat behind them to watch them. Justin and I feel asleep for a bit. We got home around 10 pm. I want to thank the NBA and NBA Cares program for making this happen especially Eric DiMiceli, Alexandra Olson, Madeline Wehle Crandall, Jonathan Hammond, Todd Jacobson, Ahyian Deldridge all from the NBA. Also a big thanks for Chris Grundner from NBTS who was very instrumential in putting this together for Justin's Quest, Neil Keller a friend who has helped with his NBA contacts and Jeff Kolodin in working his magic in conjunction with the NBA to get the basketball signed by the President.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
World Cup Soccer Weekend
The worlds most popular sporting event started this weekend. What does Justin do...he and his brothers watch the soccer games and shoot hoops downstairs to add to his Quest. It was a busy weekend for the family but Justin and his brothers managed to shoot 200 shots. School is almost out and off to the beach for the family. Justin has already staked out several basketball hoops to shoot hoops at the beach. The family is excited to get away.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Lakers v Celtics Game 1
Justin was very excited about the NBA finals. Justin and his brothers watched the game and played alot of basketball in the basement hoop room. They played horse, knockout and games. It was hard to get them to bed. It was showers, snacks and off to bed by 10:30 pm past their bedtime. Overall they shot 250 baskets.