Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden is making good on a promise.
In February, Michigan State University student John Hao’s life was changed forever. Hao was one of the students shot on campus and is now paralyzed from the chest down. Being a big fan of the NBA star, Harden knew he had to step in to help Hao during his recovery. He showered him with game-worn shoes, new shoes, a large donation to his GoFundMe, and a FaceTime call.
Harden also promised that once he’s recovered and able to attend a game, he will be his guest. And that time has come.
John Hao Is Attending Sunday’s Sixers Vs. Celtics Playoff Game As James Harden’s Guest
According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Hao will be attending Game 4 between the 76ers and the Boston Celtics and sitting courtside as Harden‘s guest.
“Two months ago, we shared with you the story of John Hao, a 20-year-old student who was shot at Michigan State University and left paralyzed from the chest down. And Hao is a huge fan of James Harden,” Andrews said.
“And when Harden heard about Hao’s story, he reached out, he sent game-worn sneakers to the hospital, he FaceTimed with the young man, and he promised, when Hao was well enough, he could attend a Sixers game as his guest.”
Andrews continued by saying that there is now a “wonderful update to that story.”
“Hao has been released from the hospital, and he will be attending Sunday’s game in Philadelphia as Harden’s guest,” she said. “He still has a long road ahead of him, but Harden has vowed to be there every step of the way.”
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NBA fans took to the comment section of Official NBA Buzz‘s Instagram post about Harden’s generosity. “Harden is a real one for this🙌🙌,” one person wrote. Another added, “🤍 what a legend.”
James Harden FaceTimed With John Hao When He Was In The Hospital In February
During the FaceTime call between Hao and Harden, the NBA star shared some positivity and encouragement.
“Everything will work itself out, be strong. You’re alright. I promise you are,” Harden said during the FaceTime call.
“Yeah, for sure. I love when you’re smiling too. I love when you’re smiling, alright? I’m with you. I know it’s tough right now but you have to stay physically strong, you know what I mean? You just gotta think positive things and keep pushing and keep fighting. I got you.”
Harden also told him about the gifts he sent to him.
“I got some things coming your way, hopefully give you some encouragement and make you smile a little bit,” Harden told Hao. “Let me know if you need anything else. Got you.”
During a report about the interaction between Harden and Hao, Andrews said Harden “wanted to brighten John’s day, even if it was just for one minute.”
She also said that Harden gave Hao his phone number so they could once again FaceTime and told him that he hopes to get him to one of his NBA games in the future when he’s feeling better. Less than three months after the shooting, Hao is gearing up to attend Sunday’s game.