Another meeting with LeBron had been set up when his mother got a call from the Make-A-Wish people at work.
“They told me, ‘You aren’t going to believe this but your son wants to change his wish,’ ” his mother says now. “He just asked that lunch be bought for everyone at his high school so that he could thank everybody individually and tell them that he loves them.”
Rashawn King’s mother lets the silence sit.
“I just got quiet when they told me that,” she said. “I didn’t know what to say. I was overwhelmed by what my son had done.”
Rashawn is a freshman point guard at North Carolina Central now. His cancer is in remission but remains a liability, so he has had to sign waivers and is waiting for them to clear before he can play. His new coach, Levelle Moton, knows Rashawn’s story. Knows some people close to LeBron, too. Coach made some calls recently, making his way up the LeBron ladder explaining the situation. And the other day, Moton called Rashawn, who thought he had done something very wrong to be getting a call from Coach. They got into Coach’s car as a surprise, Rashawn thinking they were going to dinner until they started driving toward the Heat’s exhibition game against the Bobcats. Next thing he knows, Rashawn is in the Heat’s locker room and hearing the word “here” from behind. He turned around to see his hero, LeBron James, handing over his game-worn shoes with a smile.
“LeBron let me meet the whole team,” Rashawn says. “They were amazing. Very humble gentlemen. Very friendly. LeBron told me, ‘Keep fighting. I’m proud of you.’ Just to hear those words from your hero, your idol, I felt special and important. I walked out with him all the way to the bus. I wanted to get on the bus with him. I took pictures with him. You can see I’m frozen up in those pictures. I didn’t know what to say. I was stuck. I just smiled. Frozen smile. I was amazed.”
On the drive home, his college coach looked over and saw that Rashawn was crying.
“Coach,” Rashawn said, “this is the best day of my life.”