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.
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.