Zach Keith, a 13-year-old middle school student who plays basketball and football, already wears a size 18 shoe. As the American average male shoe size is a 10.5, his mother, Brittany, finds it difficult not only to find a pair of shoes that will fit her son, but also a pair that she’s able to afford.
Brittany, who is a single mom, posted a plea for help for her 6'2"-tall son on Instagram, writing, “if you can do anything to help I will be so appreciative.”
Upon learning of the family’s situation, CNN affiliate WGCL in Atlanta reached out to Shaquille O'Neal, who was more than happy to have the opportunity to pay it forward.
“I reminisced back how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal told WGCL of Zach’s story.
When O'Neal was trying to find size 18 penny loafers for his prom ensemble, his father eventually found Friedman's Shoes in Atlanta. The owner of the shoe store, Bruce Teilhaber, gave Shaq a pair of shoes for free and ever since O'Neal, now a size 22, has frequented his business.
“Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor,” O’Neal said.
O'Neal surprised Zach and his family at Friedman's. There, Shaq generously bought the teenager ten pairs of shoes.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Zach said. “To meet Shaquille O’Neal, All-Star player, one of my All-Star favorites, surprised, shocked.”
“This will help a lot. I won’t have to so much worry about dress shoes,” Brittany said. “For me, it was just, it was very touching, very heartfelt and to know that there’s somebody out there that has his back.”
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