Sun, Jun 19th 2011, 13:45
Jaya Joel, who goes by J.J., loves wheelchair basketball. He’s a 7-year-old patient at Shriners Children’s Hospital and on Thursday he was thrilled to meet Portland Trail Blazers’ superstar Brandon Roy to talk hoops.
Accompanied by Blaze the Trail Cat and BlazerDancers Rhea and Michelle, Roy spent his morning sharing joy and laughter with kids like J.J. at Shriners and Doernbecher Children’s Hospitals. In parade-style fashion, the entourage travelled from room to room. Patients and their families were showered with autographed gifts from Roy and hugs and kisses from Blaze.
The smiles surrounding the cavalcade were contagious, spreading to everyone in the rooms and lining the hallways.
“It’s fun because right when I come in they’re all real speechless, nobody’s saying anything and I can tell how excited they are.” Roy said. “I know parents want to see their kids smile and to give them a chance to brighten up their day. And again it’s more than just for the kids, it’s for the brother or the mom and the dad whose really struggling with it.”
As the trip continued to Doernbecher oncology unit, Brandon had the chance to meet 16-year-old Denton. The first thing Brandon noticed about Denton was his height—he’s 6’4 and a point guard. An avid basketball fan and player, Denton was playing 3-on-3 hoops with his friends just last week before he found out he was sick on Sunday. As Roy chatted with Denton and his family and posed for pictures he joked “I’d ask you to stand, but I think you’d be too tall next to me.”
Roy’s bright smile and light laugh were ever present and conversations ranged from basketball, to toy cars, to Jordan shoes and back again. He may have even converted some Lakers fans with his heartfelt visit.