Orange County teen with heart condition gets meet and greet with NBA idol

An Orange County high school basketball player battling a serious heart condition was surprised with a special meet and greet with his NBA idol.

News 12 Staff

Apr 20, 2019, 12:45 AM

Updated 1,881 days ago

Share:

An Orange County high school basketball player battling a serious heart condition was surprised with a special meet and greet with his NBA idol.
Though Jack Harris Jr., 17 was born with a condition of the aortic valve in his heart, he has never let that interfere with his passion for playing basketball.
But last year, a cardiac aneurysm sidelined the Monroe-Woodbury Varsity player when he required open heart surgery.
Harris recalls the experience, remembering that he struggled to keep up with his teammates, unable to lift and run as much.
But despite his illness, he never gave up hope that someday he would return to the game – in part thanks to his NBA idol, Jeff Green of the Washington Wizards, who also had open heart surgery.
"I was like - this is real. I could do this,” said Harris.
With the goal of inspiring and motivating Harris to continue braving through, his parents surprised the teen earlier this month with a special meet and greet with Green at the Wizards vs. Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
Harris tells News 12 that Green encouraged him to stick at it and keep going.  He said Green also gave him signed memorabilia as a keepsake.
"If you put your mind to something, nobody can stop you,” says Harris.
 


More from News 12
2:16
STORM WATCH: Sunny and hot today, gusty thunderstorms and possible hail Friday afternoon

STORM WATCH: Sunny and hot today, gusty thunderstorms and possible hail Friday afternoon

2:14
Wake today for 13-year-old killed in tragic Harrison accident

Wake today for 13-year-old killed in tragic Harrison accident

1:27
White Plains 'Rocks the Block' with live music, food and fun

White Plains 'Rocks the Block' with live music, food and fun

1:50
Get Buzzed: Discover the sweet work of honeybees at West Maple Farm in Monsey

Get Buzzed: Discover the sweet work of honeybees at West Maple Farm in Monsey

0:20
New York settles with Juul for $112 million over youth vaping epidemic

New York settles with Juul for $112 million over youth vaping epidemic

1:02
Rockland man celebrates Father's Day after surviving deadly abdominal aortic aneurysm

Rockland man celebrates Father's Day after surviving deadly abdominal aortic aneurysm

0:34
New York state legislation could allow schools to cancel class on 'extreme heat’ days

New York state legislation could allow schools to cancel class on 'extreme heat’ days

3:36
 The East End: Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue

The East End: Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue

News 12 Book Club

News 12 Book Club

1:43
Officials: Serious cybersecurity attack holds data, operations in City of Newburgh at ransom

Officials: Serious cybersecurity attack holds data, operations in City of Newburgh at ransom

0:47
Elmsford hotel employees file lawsuit against management alleging criminal activity

Elmsford hotel employees file lawsuit against management alleging criminal activity

1:43
Phelps Hospital holds Inaugural World Sickle Cell Day event

Phelps Hospital holds Inaugural World Sickle Cell Day event

0:59
Bear sightings increase across the Hudson Valley

Bear sightings increase across the Hudson Valley

1:36
Toddler from New Square expected to recover after being hit by van

Toddler from New Square expected to recover after being hit by van

0:32
Sapling from Anne Frank’s tree dedicated at White Plains’ Garden of Remembrance

Sapling from Anne Frank’s tree dedicated at White Plains’ Garden of Remembrance

1:45
Westchester hires flood mitigation director to tackle escalating issue

Westchester hires flood mitigation director to tackle escalating issue

0:39
Rockland roofing company founder sentenced in ‘avoidable’ 2022 death of worker

Rockland roofing company founder sentenced in ‘avoidable’ 2022 death of worker

1:50
Fishkill opens new pickleball courts, plans more as craze takes hold

Fishkill opens new pickleball courts, plans more as craze takes hold

0:44
Putnam County brothers convicted in charges stemming from Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Putnam County brothers convicted in charges stemming from Jan. 6 Capitol riot

1:28
NYPD: 37-year-old woman from Mount Vernon fatally slashed in the neck in Williamsbridge; suspect arrested

NYPD: 37-year-old woman from Mount Vernon fatally slashed in the neck in Williamsbridge; suspect arrested