It’s not every day that you get invited by an NBA player to see an early screening of a movie. On Tuesday, July 13, our O’Donnell Heights Club was afforded this opportunity when Baltimore, native, Rudy Gay, surprised Club members with a trip to Next Act Cinema to see an early screening of Space Jam: A New Legacy.
For Gay, it was all about giving back to the community. He explained how someone took him to see the first Space Jam when he was a child and how much that experience impacted his life. “This is one of the first things that introduced me to the game of basketball. I was able to make so much out of my life through it. If I can give that to somebody else, I’ll do it,” said Gay.
The news came as a surprise, but a welcome one. O’Donnell Heights Club staff were in the middle of their usual programming when they got word that Gay wanted to take Club members on a trip to the movies. From the moment Club youth heard about the good news, they couldn’t keep their composure.
“Not every day do you get an opportunity like this to show the kids a movie that hasn’t come out yet, and also be invited by an NBA player,” said O’Donnell Heights Club manager William Howard. “This whole situation means a lot to them. For one, a lot of them haven’t left O’Donnell Heights. A lot of them haven’t even seen the other side of Baltimore. Even riding over here being on the freeway, they were excited.”
From debating which NBA player will steal the spotlight in the movie to discussing if this movie will be as good as the original, few kids were short of words while waiting for the movie previews to start. With faces full of smiles and a room full of laughter, it was evident just how much this opportunity meant to the Club’s youth. “I’m happy he gave us a chance to watch the movie, and it’s not even out yet. I feel special,” said Club member Joshua T.