Making a difference in people’s lives never gets old for Dwight Howard.
The Rockets’ star center took time after the team’s win in New Orleans on Jan. 15 to meet a young autistic fan named Brandon Carmack from Alabama.
Brandon played for a special needs team in Atlanta for a couple of years when he immediately became a huge fan of basketball and Howard. He followed Dwight’s career from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakes and now the Houston Rockets.
Brandon’s Christmas wish was to see his hero play in person and to meet him. So, his mother, Kim Gartman, looked on the Rockets website and emailed Tracey Hughes, Senior Manager of Media and Player Relations, to try to set something up when the team played close to them.
“He’s strong, he’s Superman,” Brandon said after meeting Howard. “I’m very happy.”
“It’s amazing just to see the smile on their face or just the look like, ‘Oh my God, this is really happening,'" Howard said. "It just feels good. Growing up you can never imagine having that happen to where people are in awe of you, so you got to count your blessings.
“They see us on TV, they read things about us and they want to be us and they want to meet us, and when we have an opportunity to change somebody’s life, we take full advantage of it. These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This guy drove form Alabama to see the game. They don’t’ care if you win, lose – whatever happens, they still believe in you. It’s always good to make those people feel better and encourage them with their lives by helping them out.”