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Humanity in the midst of tragedy and a James Harden promise fulfilled

James Harden is awesome for this.

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James Harden
© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of a tragedy that left Michigan State student John Hao paralyzed, Sixers star James Harden stepped up.

It feels like just yesterday the Michigan State campus was entrenched in the midst of an all-too-common tragedy. Another mass shooting event. This time, on its own campus.

February 13, 2023, was a day of pain, grief, and heartbreak for the entire university but especially the families of the victims. The events on campus that cold, dark night claimed the lives of three students (Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner) and injured five others.

In the coming days, the Michigan State family did what Spartans do. They rallied together and supported each other. Within the next couple of weeks, each of the five additional victims that were hospitalized would be released.

This story put Michigan State at the center of the national media. As more information came out regarding the victims and their identities, support from around the world began to pour in. The light of humanity shines brightest in the darkest of times.

On April 4, the last of the five hospitalized victims would be released, according to FOX 2 Detroit. While they survived, some sustained serious injuries, such as John Hao.

Hao’s injuries left him paralyzed from the chest down. Support for Hao began coming in through a GoFundMe page. This page told us more about who Hao is, including the fact that he’s a huge James Harden fan.

Malika Andrews of ESPN reported that James Harden read this information himself and got in contact with Hao.

James Harden would go on to send in sneakers including some that were game worn. He contributed to Hao’s GoFundMe page. He also spent time speaking with Hao on FaceTime. Harden would go on to give Hao his phone number. Harden said he promised Hao when he was well enough he could attend a Philadelphia 76ers game as his guest.

This Sunday, Harden’s promise will become a reality. The 76ers and Harden are entrenched in a tough playoff series verse the Boston Celtics and Hao will be present himself to see his favorite player take the court. The playoff matchup takes place at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. You’ll likely see a story on Hao’s journey in the pregame lead-up.

The events of Feb. 13 were some of the hardest in Michigan State’s history. However, seeing Hao present Sunday will be a reminder of the beauty of selfless humanity.

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