Earlier this year, a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #LeBronMeetEbony went viral, as social media users from around the world tried to set up a meeting between Heat star LeBron James and Ebony Nettles-Bey, a high school basketball player from Wisconsin battling Stage 4 cancer. Saturday, before the Heat's game against the Bucks in Milwaukee, that meeting happened, as Nettles-Bey met James, led the Heat onto the floor, and warmed up with the team on the court.
Ebony is worth meeting, LeBron
Rick Reilly wrote about the #LeBronMeetEbony campaign and Ebony Nettles-Bey's story back in February. An excerpt from that column:
LeBron, meet Ebony.
She's a lot like you, actually.
She wears a headband (even though she has no hair -- or eyebrows). She's a basketball freak. A 16-year-old junior, she's got a sweet handle and plays killer zone defense.
Oh, one thing that's different: She's trying like hell not to die of cancer.
That's not going to be easy. The majority of people who have the kind of Stage 4 soft-tissue sarcoma Ebony Nettles-Bey has don't live through it.
Ebony has two goals.
One, like you did at her age, she wants to play pro. That's not going to be easy, either. Sometimes she goes to her Verona (Wis.) High School girls' basketball games straight from the hospital. She barely gets the IVs out and she's suiting up. And then she checks right back into the hospital afterward.
Two is to meet ... you. "Oh my God," she says. "I'd probably start crying. That would just about be everything I ever wanted. I mean, there's your life right there. That's what you live for."
She's wanted to meet you forever, long before she was sick. Maybe that's why, when Ebony's teammates found out about her diagnosis, they started a Twitter campaign. It got hot. Now, thousands of tweets with the hashtag #LeBronMeetEbony have gone out. It even trended for a while.