#TodaysPerson: Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden Fulfils Promise to MSU Shooting Survivor

Photo Courtesy of: Matt Slocum/AP

Source: CNN

Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden fulfilled a promise to John Hao – a survivor of the Michigan State University shooting in February, which killed three students and wounded five more – on Sunday with an invitation to the team’s Game 4 playoff win against the Boston Celtics.

Since the shooting, Harden has became friends with Hao, an international student from China who has been left paralyzed from the shooting, over FaceTime calls since February. Hao and his family were invited by Harden to a Philadelphia game once Hao was able to travel – and true to his promise, Harden had the 20-year-old in attendance for Sunday’s game, with the pair sharing a hug during pregame warmups.

Hao and his dad – both sported Harden’s No. 1 jersey and watched the game from the stands where they were treated to a memorable moment with their friend playing a significant role. After the game, Harden met Hao on court, signing his game-worn shoes and giving them to him as a memento from the game. Harden posted the below photo on social media afterwards and called Hao his “good luck charm.”

Harden even suggested that Hao returns for the next game saying “I don’t know what you got going or what your schedule is, but Game 6 you gotta be back here. “Because you’re the good luck charm. For real, I just kept thinking about you.”

Harden reached out to Hao after learning that he was a fan. The 10-time NBA All-Star donated money and shoes to Hao during his recovery, as well as exchanging his personal phone number and FaceTiming.

“I’ve been keeping in contact with him. Obviously, like any of us in here, something tragic like to happen, it’s a lot of nonsense going on in the world,” Harden said during his post-game press conference.

“For him to be a victim of that is heartbreaking. I mean he’s strong, he’s bouncing back, he’s recovering really well. I feel like it’s my job to give him that light, that smile he deserves, that he needs. Hopefully, today was one of those days where he’s smiling. That’s all I’m here for.”


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