Thabeet Shops with Local Family

Myeasha Williams and Chad Watson have five sons, meaning as soon as they put food on the table, it gets eaten in an instant.

With an 18-year old named Christian, a middle-schooler named Tristan, a four year old named Micah and a two-year old named Jonah, Williams and Watson already had a family buzzing with activity and in need of their attention, but recently their five-year old son Elijah was diagnosed with brain cancer, putting an extra set of difficulties and responsibilities on their plate.

Thanks to a nomination from Oklahoma City social worker Jamese Siranga and Elijah’s kindergarten teacher Stephanie Hinton, the family received an exciting reward for all of their hard work and togetherness over the past few years, as the Thunder and center Hasheem Thabeet teamed up with Homeland for a shopping spree, where the family could pick out $500 worth of groceries.

“It just really means so much to us,” Williams said. “We’ve been going through a lot since Elijah was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in November of 2012. He relapsed, so we’ve been going through a lot this year just trying to keep going, keep our heads up and staying positive.”

“Elijah started out kindergarten and his mom told me in advance that he’d been diagnosed with cancer,” Hinton said. “I was really scared the first day of school, but he has just been a bright light in my classroom and a bright light in our school. He has so much courage and heart. He is just best friends with everybody. Everybody in the school loves him. I know this means so much to their family. They definitely could use all the support that they can get.”

As Thabeet walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store, he got a chance to chat with each member of the family, connecting with Chad and Christian, and interacting with Elijah and Jonah. The second-youngest and most outgoing, Micah, however, didn’t leave Thabeet’s side for the entire afternoon.

Hanging onto just one of Thabeet’s massive fingers with his entire hand, Micah was drawn to the Thunder center’s gentleness and warmth as he tried to learn about what Williams and her family have gone through over the past few years.

“Micah, my four-year old, he grabbed his hand and didn’t let it go the whole time,” Williams said.

“It was great to hear their story,” Thabeet said. “It’s tough what the family is going through. To have the chance to hang out with them, give them joy and something to smile about was great.”

These Homeland shopping sprees are an integral part of the Thunder’s community outreach program throughout the season, and have become a staple in the community as the team and Homeland’s relationship continues to grow.

Ever since the Thunder arrived in Oklahoma City, giving back to deserving members of the community and truly being a part of the daily lives of those in the area has been not just a goal, but engrained in the team’s DNA. Events like Tuesday’s are an extension of that effort, and the association with that mentality of giving back is something that makes both Thabeet and Homeland’s Russell Raydon extremely proud.

“I’m just so blessed to be a part of the Thunder organization to have a chance to do something like this,” Thabeet said. “Hopefully they enjoy all of it, because everybody was happy to go around, picking whatever they liked.”

“We’ve been privileged to have several of them here at our store,” Raydon said. “Today with Hasheem Thabeet coming in here taking care of this family who are really in need and really good people, it’s just nice to see that the Thunder cares a lot about the community. It’s nice to have them as a part of our family here.”