Rubio Hosts Build-A-Bear Visit

Rubio Hosts Build-A-Bear Visit

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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A whirlwind week for newly minted Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio culminated at the Build-A-Bear store located inside the Mall of America on Sunday. Rubio dealt with an onslaught of fans that greeted him at the airport upon his arrival and continued a six-day tour around the Twin Cities but his biggest challenge might have been convincing a three-year old to shift NBA allegiances.

Rubio waltzed into Build-A-Bear to host a visit for the McPhersons, a family directly affected by the North Minneapolis tornado that destroyed their home in a matter of seconds. As the 20-year old Rubio approached Taj, the young boy showed his basketball fandom by sporting an NBA jersey -- the No. 3 Dwyane Wade Miami Heat uniform.

Rubio and Taj seemed to bond throughout the event, building bears and exchanging fives, which could lead to the young man jumping on the Rubio bandwagon someday. More importantly, the visit helped Taj and the McPhersons escape the daily despair that was caused from the national disaster.

"It's devastating; a lot of homes and people over in North Minneapolis are going through a lot. We end up losing our house and so forth -- it's real stressful," Trevor McPherson explained.

The Wolves partnered with Urban Homeworks, a local project that provided a home for the McPhersons. In addition to a couple of new bears for Taj, the family received Underwater Adventure passes, Nickelodeon Park passes, a Rainforest gift card, and a Visa/Target gift card.

"It's good to see the players come out and take initiative and meet people -- do things with the kids in the community," Trevor McPherson added. "That's a real good thing."

For his first official community event in Minnesota, Rubio was excited to lend a helping hand,”It made me feel much better because sometimes life doesn't go the right way. You have to take a break sometimes, forget what happened and enjoy the good life, you know."

Rubio provided a lasting memory for a young boy and family before heading back to Barcelona this week. The talented 2009 No. 5 overall pick showed all angles to his dynamic personality during his introduction to the Minnesota fan base. However, his most important assists will take place off the court where Rubio has already shined.

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