MILWAUKEE — A young Milwaukee Bucks fan broke down in tears when Giannis Antetokounmpo handed her his game-worn shoes after the Bucks beat the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, Dec. 22 at Fiserv Forum. The Mequon girl, a die-hard Bucks fan, said it was a dream come true.
Less than 24 hours later, Tess Lueck said it still felt like a dream — one she did not want to wake up from.
“I froze for a second,” said Lueck after the special pass from the Greek Freak. “I thought it was a dream. I don’t really know of any NBA player who does this. That’s really cool of him.”
The two talked and posed for a picture on the court.
“When he said, ‘Merry Christmas,’ it made me really happy,” said Lueck.
When Lueck got home, she found a special spot for the sneakers.
“I put them on my bed — like, just on the corner,” said Lueck.
Lueck’s grandfather, Ted Kellner, was there for the joy.
“I think I have the most popular grandchild, certainly in Milwaukee,” said Kellner. “It was one of those magical moments.”
Kellner is a minority Bucks owner but said Lueck got the reigning MVP’s attention on her own — with the help of a homemade sign and a jersey with the number 34.
“I had no part in staging this,” said Kellner. “This was Giannis, pure and simple, doing what Giannis does.”
The moment was seen by hundreds of thousands — quickly going viral online.
“I kind of feel like Mario with them on because they’re so big,” said Lueck, cherishing the act of kindness.
It’s safe to say, Lueck got all she wanted for Christmas three days before Santa’s arrival.
“You don’t have to get me anything,” said Lueck. “I’m fine right now. I don’t need anything.”
Lueck said she planned to put the shoes in a glass case so her dog wouldn’t chew on them.