ATLANTA (WGCL/CNN) - Shaquille O’Neal is a big man who does big-hearted things for those in need.
The former basketball star leant a helping hand to an 8th grader who needed shoes for his plus-size feet.
Friedman’s Shoes in downtown Atlanta is well known for its large size shoes and customers.
O'Neal and his size 22 foot is one of them.
"If they don’t come from Bruce and Friedman’s, don’t show them to me,” O’Neal said.
Because of the specialty size, O’Neal could relate when he heard of a 13-year-old wearing a size 18 shoe.
“Mom couldn’t afford shoes,” O’Neal said. “The kid had big feet and I just kind of reminisce back how that used to be me, my mom and my dad.”
CBS46′s Sharon Reed arranged for O’Neal to meet Zach Keith. Zach was blown away to meet a basketball superstar.
“I’m like ‘oh my gosh’ like, it’s really him,” Zach said.
But more than just meeting him, O’Neal offered to buy the young man 10 pair of shoes.
“'Like woah,' he wants to buy me shoes out of all people?” Zach said.
“This will help a lot,” said the boy’s mother, Brittany Keith. “I won’t so much have to worry about buying him dress shoes. He hasn’t had a pair of dress shoes in about four or five years because it’s been hard trying to find the ones that actually fit.”
“I thought this was a good thing to do,” O’Neal said. "Mom and kid plays basketball and Bruce did it for me and I just want to return the favor.”
Zach’s mother was filled with joy.
“And for me it was very touching, very heartfelt and to know that there’s somebody out there that has his back,” Keith said.
O’Neal is 7-foot-1. He played in the NBA for 19 years.