The Michigan State University community is still in mourning after a heartbreaking mass shooting rocked the campus just 10 days ago.
The tragedy left three students and five more critically wounded.
One of those wounded was 20-year-old John Hao. Hao is currently paralyzed from the chest down following the shooting.
Hao, among other things, is reportedly a massive fan of Philadelphia 76ers superstar James Harden. When Harden got news of this information, he quickly went into action.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reports that the 10-time All-Star and former league MVP sent Hao multiple pairs of sneakers, including one game-worn pair. He contributed to Hao’s Go Fund Me in order to help with medical bills. But perhaps most importantly, Harden FaceTimes Hao and sent him an encouraging message about his recovery.
Last week, 20-year-old John Hao’s life was changed forever. He was one of the students shot at Michigan State University and was left paralyzed from the waist down. Hao is a huge fan of James Harden, and when Harden heard Hao’s story, he stepped in: pic.twitter.com/Htm2RXRdQ2
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 23, 2023
This was his message, in part:
“Everything will work itself out. Be strong. You’re alright. You’ll be alright, I promise you are…I love when you’re smiling, too. I love when you’re smiling, alright? I’m with you.
I know it’s tough right now. But you have to stay physically strong, you know what I mean? You just gotta think positive things and keep pushing and keep fighting. I got you. I got some gifts for you, too. I got some things coming your way. Hopefully (they will) give you some encouragement and make you smile a little bit.” – James Harden to Michigan State student John Hao
Hao remains in the hospital in critical but stable condition.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, a Michigan State alum, recently spoke about how hard it was to hear about the shooting.
“Quite honestly, and not to make the moment about myself, but growing up in Saginaw, Michigan, when I went to Michigan State, I thought I made it out,” Green said. “Like, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I had to look over my shoulder when I was walking around — that leaving the house and making it back home wasn’t a threat.”
“That feeling has been rocked a bit,” Green said. “Knowing that that kid from Saginaw, or Detroit, or Pontiac, or Flint, or you name it — that feeling is compromised from that. That hurts me. That hurts because as kids, you grow up in those environments and your main goal is to get out of there, so you don’t have to deal with that. So you don’t have to have those same worries. So you don’t have to face those same dangers on the daily.
“To know that you go to a place like Michigan State and to have that worry again, that’s brutal. That’s scary.”
The Michigan State community and the victims are just at the start of the healing process. But hopefully Harden’s words and gestures can be a small help to Hao in a unimaginably difficult time.