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Former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal knows what it's like having ginormous feet.

So when he heard about a 13-year-old aspiring basketball player from Georgia having difficulty finding the right size shoes, he stepped in to help.


Zach Keith is a size 18, and his mother can't afford shoes for the rare size if she can find them in stores at all.

The dilemma sounded all too familiar.

O'Neal wears a size 22 and he recalled how his parents went through a similar situation.

He told CBS 46:

"Mom couldn't afford shoes. The kid had big feet. I just kind of reminisced about how that used to be me, my mom and my dad."

So he started the day off on the right foot and got the kid 10 pairs of size 18 shoes.


O'Neal had arranged to surprise the young athlete at Friedman's Shoes, a store that sells extra large footwear and is owned by Bruce Teilhaber, who has helped out frequent customers like O'Neal.

"If they don't come from Bruce and Freidman's don't show them to me," quipped the 47-year-old.

Keith couldn't believe he was meeting an NBA legend and that the celebrity was helping him out.

"I'm like, 'Whoa, he wants to buy me shoes, out of all people?'"

After taking Keith out on a shopping spree inside the store, O'Neal gave him additional spending money and his personal cellphone number to let him know that if he ever needed any help, he was just a phone call away.

O'Neil scored some major points with Twitter for his generosity.



Others who are challenged with big hoppers appreciated O'Neal's gesture.



They teen's mother, Brittany Keith, was beyond grateful.

"This will help a lot. I won't so much have to worry about buying him dress shoes. He hasn't had a pair of dress shoes in about four or five years because it's been hard trying to find the ones that actually fit."

It wasn't just about the shoes.

She was glad to have a role model to look up to, all 7 feet of him!

"For me it was just very touching, very heartfelt, to know there is someone out there that has his back."

O'Neal and Keith shot some hoops together before calling it a day.


For the pro-athlete, it was just his way of paying it forward.

"I thought this was a good thing to do. Kid plays basketball, and Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor."



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