Holiday Helpers

By Tom Dowd

Christmas came early as Randy Foye and Isaiah Whitehead joined 30 local kids for a shopping spree at Modell’s, right across the street from Barclays Center.

“It never gets old because I feel as though everyone that’s in the NBA, especially players that are so blessed, it’s always important to give back to the kids,” said Foye.

T-shirts, sneakers, sweatshirts, hats and more were scooped up by excited kids. The adults had fun with the experience too.

“Trying to make these kids’ holidays better just by walking around the store with them,” said Whitehead. “It’s easy to just give them gift cards and say, ‘hey, just go shopping,’ but when I’m here with them and actually helping them do it, I think it’s great.”

The rookie point guard is a Brooklyn native who starred at Coney Island’s Lincoln High School before going on to Seton Hall and the NBA. Ten of the kids in attendance came from the Coney Island YMCA.

“My main objective is just to show them that I’ll never change,” said Whitehead. “I’m from Coney Island. I feel like I should give back and show them I didn’t forget about Coney Island and I never will.”

“It means a lot to these kids,” said Yader Bravo of the Coney Island YMCA. “They look up to people like Isaiah because it’s somebody that comes from their neighborhood. He’s someone who worked hard, he went to a local high school, so dreams can come true.”

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