A community in Edmonton, Canada, came together to help their teen neighbor with NBA aspirations practice his basketball skills.
14-year-old Anthony Muobike is passionate about the sport, and to be the best player he can be, the teen dribbles for hours a day in the driveway of his home to improve his skills.
Anthony feared that his constant dribbling would annoy his neighbors, but it was the exact opposite—they actually see him, and they think he’s got what it takes to be a basketball star.
Inspired by his dedication, a local resident named Ian Ray, who has lived in the neighborhood for around 13 years, put out a call for help on Facebook. He asked friends and family if they had a basketball net they weren’t using or willing to part with so that Anthony could have a hoop to shoot at.
Ian said that when he’s not dribbling, Anthony is watching siblings or walking his dog. He described him as a “good kid.”
“He was just a kid who dribbled a basketball – all day, all night,” he said. “I kind of figured it would be cool if he had a net.”
The community did more than just donate a used hoop—they chipped in to buy Anthony a new one, and Ian ended up collecting a whopping $750.
Ian’s post garnered so much attention that the regional branch of Canadian Tire caught wind of it, and the company decided to donate a brand new net for the aspiring athlete!
The money raised was used to purchase a gift card from Canadian retailer Sport Chek, so that Anthony could expand his gear to help support his basketball dreams.
“I didn’t expect it to blow up like it did but the north side is a pretty strong community and everyone is willing to chip in when they have to. It was really nice,” Ian said.
Anthony is overjoyed, saying that he couldn’t believe it when he found out his neighbors banded together to get him a basketball net.
“I thought that whenever I dribble it made a racket and people want to sleep or something like that,” he said. “I did not know that dribbling that ball, practising at least maybe two or four hours a day, would actually have an influence.”
The teen had no idea about their plan until Ian came to their door with his surprise.
“Holy moly. I just see the net and it didn’t even matter that it wasn’t built yet, it was just in the box. I was like holy moly, that’s crazy,” he recalled. “It does touch my heart. It actually just makes me feel happy inside. It just makes my mind blow. Like wow.”
Anthony’s family had only moved to the area a year ago, making the kind act even more special.
“Wow. This is huge. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know I had such a great community that looks out for one another,” Leticia, Anthony’s mom, said.
Leticia has been putting off buying him a net, so she’s really grateful to their neighbors for what they did.
Even Anthony’s idol, LeBron James, heard about his story. The 36-year-old baller shared his story in his Instagram Stories, saying that it was “pure and beautiful.”
Anthony is determined to become a professional basketball player, and considering all the practice he’s been doing, he’s likely to achieve it.
“I will succeed,” he declared. “I will be in the NBA – [in] 2026, I’ll be there and then try to give back to those people and I will make them all proud. I will be up on your TV.”
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