James Harden hosted a special guest for Sunday's Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.
John Hao, a Michigan State student who survived the February on-campus mass shooting that killed three students, watched the game as Harden's guest. Hao, 20, was shot in the attack and was paralyzed from the chest down.
Harden learned that Hao was a big fan of his and contacted him on FaceTime while Hao was being treated in the hospital.
“Everything will work out by itself, be strong,” harden told hao, “You're fine. You'll be fine. I promise you will… I love it when you smile, okay? I'm with you. I know it's hard right now, but you need to be physically Gotta stay strong, you know what I mean? You just got to think positive things and keep moving forward and keep fighting.
He contributed to Hao's GoFundMe for medical expenses and sent him a pair of his game-worn shoes. He also promised to invite her to a 76ers game. On Sunday, he fulfilled his promise.
Hao was released from the hospital last week and showed up for Sunday's game in Philadelphia. He watched courtside from the baseline during the 76ers' warmup, where he shared a hug with Harden.
He then watched the game with his loved ones from the stands.
ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth reported that Harden also intends to give Hao his shoes from Sunday's game.
“There's so much craziness going on in the world, and no one should have to go through what John went through,” Harden told ESPN. “To make even a mark during his recovery, to give him some joy back, I think that's my calling.