Can you imagine having Jason Kidd at your kitchen table, enjoying breakfast with you and your family? And then afterwards, accompanying you to school in a limousine? Sounds like a dream. Well, for 5th grade student Kyle Greve of Wayne, NJ, it was reality. You see, Kyle was entered into the 3rd annual “Take-a-Net to School Sweepstakes” (Presented by American Dairy and Zebra Pen) and he won the opportunity for that very dream to come true.
When young Kyle found out the news, he couldn’t believe it.
“I was so happy. I couldn’t think about anything but the Nets.”
He didn’t sleep, either. Sounds kind of like Christmas Day. Well, not totally.
“This is better than Christmas,” said Greve.
Once Jason Kidd was relayed the quote, he said, “that’s a great honor. I came up with my reindeer.”
When asked where Santa’s hat was, Kidd said it was in the gift bag – there was a Nets red hat that came with Kyle’s goodies.
The joy on the kid’s face was palpable when the door was opened for the knocking Kidd. After the duo answered questions from the media, Jason said that he was hungry and wanted to get inside for some breakfast. He told the assembled media that he didn’t think there were enough muffins for everyone.
You know it’s a different kind of day when Jason’s best assist is passing Kyle’s mom the fruit plate and when his taking a bagel is a good thing. When breakfast was finished, Kidd accompanied the kid to the limousine and they made their way to Lafayette Elementary School.
There would be a whole lot of new best friends waiting.
Once at the school, the two made their way into an awaiting gym of Lafayette’s student body, all brandished in “Take-a-Net to School” t-shirts and slamming together thunder-sticks. It felt like a playoff game. Nets announcer Chris Carrino spoke to the children, introducing Kyle and his new famous sidekick. Kidd spoke first, before personally introducing Kyle.
With the kid losing his words, Jason gave Greve an assist, leading him through the speech with a cupped-hand to the boy’s ear.
“I want to thank my parents, family, and my teachers,” said Kyle.
After a few second, the Nets point-guard went back to the boys’ ear.
“…and the principal.”
Jason came up to speak again, telling the kids they should hold strong to their dreams and that they could all be something when they grow up. They don’t need to be athletes, but they can be – if that’s their dream.
“Kyle already put in a bid for my job,” said Kidd. “So, you can put in for Vince’s or for the job of our President, Rod Thorn.”
The duo then made their way to Kyle’s first-period class, where fellow students got to play reporters and personally put questions to the Nets point guard, ranging from his age, to how he likes New Jersey, to how many teams he’s been on, to how it feels to be famous, and on and on.
The great thing about kids’ questions is that they can elicit some gems for answers.
On that note, bet not many people know how Jason Kidd got started on his lifelong path of basketball. It was a form of peer pressure, really.
Jason was in second grade, growing up in Northern California. His best friend at the time was Art Shell Jr., son and namesake of the former Raiders player and head coach. Kidd sat right next to Shell in class. So, one day, a teacher comes into their class and says “who wants to sign up for basketball?” Shell raised his hand, and Jason followed suit. And that was it.
It’s funny: one of the best leaders in the NBA found his way to the sport by following.
And, it’s a case of Kidd imitating Art.
Once the Q&A concluded, Kidd signed balls and shirts for a line of Lafayette students and took pictures afterwards; the students will always cherish this day.
It was sure a day Kyle will always remember: Jason Kidd at your breakfast table, one of the best point-guards ever accompanying you to school.
Kyle probably thinks he is still dreaming, waiting to wake up.
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