ESPN’s J.A. Adande wrote a heart-warming piece on Friday night about New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul. He reached out to a 14-year-old high school basketball player who now shares a special bond with him.
Brad Rhodes, a freshman from New Hampshire, lost his 46-year-old mother in a snowmobile accident back on Feb. 27. Two days later, he made it his goal to score 46 points in his school’s next basketball game—one point for every year his mom lived.
He scored his 46th point with two minutes left in the third quarter, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. When Brad scored on the three-pointer that gave him 46 for the game:
The officials stopped the game. Players on both teams started to clap. The crowd came to its collective feet and gave the kid and his dad a standing ovation. Brad hugged his teammates. More tears were shed.
How does this tie to Paul, the NBA All-Star? Back in Paul’s high school years, his 61-year-old grandfather died the day after Paul signed his letter of intent to play at Wake Forest. In Paul’s next game, he dropped 61 points—just like Brad, one for every year of his loved one’s life.
Once Paul heard about Brad’s tribute to his mother, he decided to fly Brad and his father down to New Orleans for Game 3 of the Hornets’ playoff series against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul gave Brad a signed pair of his own Jordan Brand shoes, his jersey, and let him dribble around on the court while both teams warmed up.
We can't thank them enough for what they've done for us and my family here today," Frank Rhoades [Brad's father] said. "It's awesome."
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.