NBA Icon, Shaquille O’Neal, surprised 13-year-old Zach Keith while shopping with his mother, Brittany Keith at Friedman’s Shoes in Atlanta, GA. Shaq came through and bought Keith 10 pairs of size 18 shoes, after hearing how Zach’s mother had difficulty purchasing the larger shoe size her son needs.
“Mom couldn’t afford shoes. The kid had big feet. I just kind of reminisced about how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal told WGCL-TV. Brittany asked for help via social media, and 7ft., size 22 shoe wearing O’Neal stepped in and became someone Zach could relate to.
In addition to the shoes, Shaq also gave the teen spending money and his personal cell phone number to reach out if he ever needed help. “This will help a lot. I won’t so much have to worry about buying him dress shoes…He hasn’t had a pair of dress shoes in about four or five years because it’s been hard trying to find the ones that actually fit.”
She continued, “For me it was just very touching, very heartfelt, to know there is someone out there that has his back.” Shaq said the inspiration behind his gift was from the kindness Friedman’s owner Bruce Teilhaber showed him as a kid. “I thought this was a good thing to do,” O’Neal shared. “Kid plays basketball, and Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor.”
Shaq has 3,000 pairs of shoes from Friedman’s and says if the shoe isn’t from Bruce, he won’t wear it. “If they don’t come from Bruce and Freidman’s don’t show them to me!”