Man Waits in Line Five Days to Buy Sneakers for His Brother


Photo by ABC 13

Joshua Alvarez could have used a few elves to help him get his brother’s Christmas gift. Instead, the Texan camped out on the street in Houston for five days, drinking Diet Cokes and eating just once a day to make sure he scored a ticket guaranteeing him a pair of Nike’s coveted new Air Jordan Retro 11 Legend Blues sneakers for the 14-year-old.

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“I’m stepping up for my mom and him,” he told ABC 13 while waiting outside the Houston Galleria Mall on Dec. 14. “We don’t have much, so I got a good job now so I can buy him the shoes he wants. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m just kind of stepping up for him.” 


Photo by ABC 13

Alvarez has tried to get pairs of Air Jordans for two years running but didn’t get to the store in time, reports ABC. This year he resolved it would be different because they are for his little brother, who needs a little TLC following the death of their father last year, the station reports. 

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The limited-edition $200 shoes, worn by Michel Jordan during the 1996 NBA All-Star Game and last released in 2001, are already selling on eBay for up to $525.

Alvarez was one of a dedicated group who turned out days in advance to nab the ticket for a pair, which will be made available to ticket holders and shoppers Dec. 20. But hundreds more flocked to Houston-area malls the morning of the ticket release, creating a chaotic scene.

"We always see an overwhelming turnout for these popular shoes releases,” Andrew Huang, director of marketing and business development for the Galleria, tells Yahoo Parenting. “And we expect the same crowds this [coming] weekend.” 

Police were called to both the Willowbrook Mall, where someone threw a rock and shattered a glass entrance door, and the Woodlands Mall, where a teenage girl was Tasered as cops tried to contain unruly crowds on Dec. 14, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"It seems kind of crazy to wait hours in line for a chance at a pair of sneakers," Phil Fitzgerald, Montgomery County Sheriff’s spokesman, told the paper. 

Perhaps it’s not as crazy, though, as hoping a jolly, red-suited man will fly a pair to your house in a sleigh. Here’s to hoping Alvarez pulls off a slam dunk of a Christmas miracle with the Jordans and makes his brother’s wish come true.

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