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4 years ago, I got an email that would change my life forever. But maybe not the change you would expect though.
“Thank you for making the 10000 Hours series. You don’t know me but I have cancer and Im not expected to live much longer. Watching you guys on episode 1 makes me want to keep fighting. Hopefully I can make it through this... but just know, what you created is special.”
I’ve never been that much of an emotional person, I’ve never understood how people cried from watching movies or while listening to music, but the second that I finished scrolling down that email… I cried….I immediately understood emotions that I’ve never felt before. It changed me in a sense where I was then able to feel sentiment a lot more than I had ever imagined.
One of the craziest parts to this story is I lost this email lol. At the time I didn’t think to save it, put it on an episode, or anything like that. Yeah I kind of screwed that one up, but 3 years later, I’m scrolling down my email and look what popped up.
When I finished reading, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “wait…the make a wish foundation? Like the one I’ve seen on TV?”. I never could’ve imagined that someone would use that wish to hang out with me.
Of course I wanted to do it, but plenty of questions surfaced. What can I do to make Bronson’s wish special? Does he want to workout? What can we do if he’s able to workout? Would there be any limitations? Etc. It was really just me being nervous because I didn’t want to screw this up.
That first email was sent January 6, 2016. Plenty of time went by without me hearing back from the make-a-wish foundation, so I thought maybe something bad happened or Bronson changed his mind about hanging out.
In comes August 2017 where the “IN THE LAB experience” was held in Edmonton. We had everything set and ready to go when I get a text from Jerica (my publicist) saying that Bronson was going to be there on the 21st.
I was hyped because part of what makes me as a person is the company that I keep around me. I like for kids to not only experience the on the court stuff, but everything off the court. And being that we had a 5 bed room air bnb in the city of Edmonton that has some of the best food in the world, the workout was taking place, and some of my good friends were with me, I knew that there was no way this would flop.
I woke up on the day of so hyped. We started it off with a 1 on 1 workout.
Whenever someone that watches my videos meets me for the first time they always act nervous. They expect me to be something totally different than what I am, when in fact, I just like to chill and crack jokes all day. Bronson was no different.
Dude pulled up in a white limousine as nervous as can be.
As the workout began I was low key surprised because dude could actually hoop. Turns out, Bronson was from Chicago, and from my experience in Chicago... 1, they have hoopers, and 2, none of them are soft.
During the one hour workout, I gave him some of my secrets for dribbling the ball but it’s one thing to teach them verbally, I wanted to use them against them so he can see how well they work.
Boom, left to right cross, “where you goin’ Bronson?”.
Oops, in and out spin move, blow by, “Good defense bro”
For those who know me, I can’t help but talk trash….even if it’s your make a wish day lol.
To my surprise, he started talking trash back to me.
Bronson - “Im backing up, you can’t shoot”
Devin - “I’d say the same thing if I was gettin’ snatched around like you are”
I knew right then that he was going to fit in. From that point we never stopped talking trash which is our kind of fun.
After that, we headed to the main workout where he got to meet the Edmonton group. He participated in a 2 hour and 30 min workout, Shared his testimony, and then it was off to the ITL house for a 2k tournament that we had set up for the day. Bronson doesn’t just play 2k, he stated it like this, “I’M A 2K GOD”.
The tournament was too much fun…
We had about 35 to 40 kids show up at our house. Some were downstairs playing ping pong, some were upstairs playing 2k. It was the exact environment that I wanted to be set on a day like this. Just kicking it, playing games, basketball, and enjoying life.
Seeing a kid have this much fun who could’ve possibly not been alive was so motivating, that FOR A SECOND, I almost teared up….I ALMOST thought about taking it easy when we met each other in the 2k championship. Yes, it played out perfectly to where we beat everyone else in the house and matched up for the final game. But all that sympathy stuff went straight out the window when he made his way over and said, “you ready to take this L? 2K GOD IN THE BUILDING!!!”. My overly competitive side then took over and I’m pretty sure you can guess how the rest turned out lol.
But with all that said, I am NOTHING without my team. It wasn’t me that made the day special, or how funny Cornell and Matt are, or how chill Darren and Navin are, nor was it the workout or the one on one. It was the environment that we set up for Bronson. AND to be honest, it was us just being ourselves and doing what we do when we all hang out.
Bronson, as much as you say the day was special for you, as much as my videos may have motivated you, you have no idea how much you mean to us. Thank you for choosing us to make your wish come true, but more importantly, thanks for showing us what it means to be a fighter. But you're not done writing your book yet little bro. Go and earn yourself a scholarship so you really have a story to tell.