NBA star James Harden surprised Michigan State University (MSU) shooting survivor John Hao in the hospital to offer his support.
Hao, a 20-year-old international MSU
student from China
, was shot in the back during the East Lansing shooting
on Feb. 13, which severed his spinal cord and paralyzed him from the chest down.
, who currently plays for the Philadelphia 76ers
, heard Hao’s story and learned he was a fan after encountering a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe
for Hao. As of this writing, the fundraising campaign — to which Harden made an undisclosed donation
— has raised over $377,000.
The former MVP shooting guard took his support a step further, sending Hao a pair of game-worn sneakers, providing his personal cellphone number and calling him over FaceTime to provide words of encouragement.
Everything will work itself out, be strong. You’re alright, you’re alright. I promise you are. Alright? I love when you’re smiling, too. I love when you’re smiling, alright? I’m with you. I know it’s tough right now but you have to stay physically strong, you know what I mean? You just got to think positive things and keep pushing and keep fighting. I got you. I got some gifts for you, too. I got some things coming your way, hopefully give you some encouragement and make you smile a little bit, you know what I mean? I’m with you. Let me know if you need anything else. I got you.
After the 76ers’ victory over the Grizzlies on Thursday night, Harden
spoke about his call with Hao to reporters:
The more I can encourage and rub off this energy that I have and give him hope, I feel like that’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I’ve got this platform for. Hopefully he can recover and bounce back out of that sooner than later, but I gave him my number, so whenever he ever feels like he needs anything he can call me and I check up on him.
The MSU shooting that paralyzed Hao saw three students killed and five injured.
On Feb. 13, a lone shooter, now identified as Anthony Dwayne McRae, opened fire on the East Lansing campus before killing himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shooting marked the 67th mass shooting
in the U.S. this year and the third in which Chinese individuals were harmed and/or killed.