While attending Friday's game against the New York Knicks and sitting courtside about an hour prior to tipoff was mesmerizing for Jacob Tawadrous in and of itself, it really got incredible for the 15-year-old high school student when he got the chance to take a shot on the same court that his favorite Magic players compete on.
And fittingly in many ways considering how much he has overcome over the past couple of years, Jacob's 18-foot jumper in front of Magic legend and Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw was spot on as he buried the shot on his first attempt.
This challenge was a piece of cake, it sure seemed, especially with the health condition he recently conquered. Jacob was diagnosed with heart failure in his early adolescence and had to endure a lot in the months prior to recovery. He had a heart transplant in March of 2013 and though he still has some nerve damage in his right leg, he is very healthy and happy.
"This is my first time going to a Magic game and it is really cool to shoot on the Magic court," Jabob said. "I feel great and this is so awesome to be here."
A student at Rockledge High School in Brevard County, Jacob is very familiar with the game of basketball. Prior to his health troubles, he played at his church and was known to be a very efficient 3-point shooter. And now he regularly watches the Magic and is a big fan of Victor Oladipo.
"Jacob was always a good basketball player until the surgery," his father Hany Tawadrous said. "To be able to come here and shoot a couple of hoops that made him feel really good."
Jacob learned he would be going to the game a month ago when the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted him the opportunity. Every 38 minutes Make-A-Wish grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening condition in the United States and its territories.
As stated on Make-A-Wish's Central and Northern Florida website: "We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us in everything we do. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve."
The Magic remain committed to helping children reach their full potential by investing resources in a variety of areas. To learn more about the Magic in the community, visit http://www.nba.com/magic/magic-in-the-community