Detroit boy shot playing basketball gets night with the Pistons and Brandon Knight

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From the Detroit Free Press…

Both boys are 12, in the seventh grade and love basketball.

So Kyle Shannahan of Livonia felt an instant connection with Michael Green II when he heard Michael was shot by a stray bullet while playing basketball outside his Detroit home.

“He seems basically just like me,” Kyle said.

Although they never had met, Kyle said he wanted to do something to boost Michael’s spirits, so he wrote him a letter.

Kyle’s father, Kevin Shannahan, sent a copy to the Detroit Pistons, and the organization invited them all to Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks — exactly a month after a bullet hit Michael’s right arm near his west-side home on Montgomery.

The boys and their families met for the first time as they sat courtside at the Palace of Auburn Hills, watching the Pistons warm up, and Pistons players including Greg Monroe, Jason Maxiell and Brandon Knight came over to greet them.

The players signed Kyle’s ticket and a basketball and jersey for Michael.

“The day was good,” Michael said before the start of the game.

Some players offered words of advice to Michael, who already stands at 5 feet, 11 inches and aspires to play professional basketball.

“Do whatever it takes to fulfill your dreams,” Knight said.

Maxiell encouraged him to keep up the good work and to not give up, no matter what he goes through in life.

“Keep on pushing,” Maxiell said.

Kevin Shannahan said he never imagined the generosity that would come from the letter. He said it holds a lesson: You don’t have to know people to reach out to them.

Barbara Hill, Michael’s Amateur Athletic Union basketball coach, is close with Michael and also attended the game with her two sons. Their team plays in state competition today.

Hill said it has been hard for Michael to watch everybody else practice, so she plans to make him an honorary coach while he recovers.

“All he does is want to play basketball every moment, every second,” she said.

She said she also plans to ask Kyle, a student at Holmes Middle School in Livonia, if he would like to play basketball with her team.

Michael, who was released from Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit on March 25, plans to return to school Monday at Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, said his mother, Lashaunda Green.

He attends physical therapy three times a week and feels tingling in his fingers, but the pain isn’t as bad as it once was. He has had two surgeries — one to repair a severed artery and another to fix a broken bone.

“I’m feeling real good right now,” Michael said. “Less pain.”

The incident has given Michael, who police said was an innocent bystander, recurring nightmares. No arrests have been made in the shooting, Detroit police said Friday.

Michael said the best part of his night was meeting Kyle and his family — and of course the Pistons players.

The Pistons gave the boys, their families, Michael’s basketball coach and two friends tickets as part of the Come Together program, which awards free tickets to people making a difference in Michigan. Nominations can be made at www.pistons.com/cometogether .

It’s nice to know that even though Brandon Knight now has millions of dollars, he’s still a down-to-earth nice guy. NBAcats rule!

(source: here)

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