Jacob Franks raced his bicycle down the aisle with Kevin Durant. An unsuspecting customer leaped back, unaware last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year and Jacob, 6, were test driving bikes at a Target in north Oklahoma City.
Assisted by veteran forward Joe Smith, Jacob’s sister, Brittany, 10, picked out a 24-inch pink Schwinn with matching pink water bottle.
"I am so excited to get a new bike,” Brittany said. "This is the best Christmas ever.”
A holiday shopping spree was an unforgettable memory for 10 families, but especially meaningful for Patricia Franks and her four grandchildren. Their house in southeast Oklahoma City burned down two days before Thanksgiving.
"They said it was an electrical short in one of the space heater wires,” Patricia said. "We have clothes that were donated. It was a lot of the other stuff we need. I had so much stuff to replace in my kitchen but was thinking more of the kids. Three of them got bikes. I don’t know what to say.”
The 10 families were chosen randomly from among the 138 Grandparents Raising Grandkids applicants, a program supported by the Sunbeam Family Services program. Each family received a $1,000 shopping spree. The money was donated by Thunder players, coaches and staff.
The Oklahoma City Police Department and Sheriff’s Department were partners. Target also provided an additional $250 gift card for each family.
Thunder players, wearing blue Santa hats, seemed to enjoy filling up baskets as much as the kids and grandparents.
"We have a great bunch of guys,” said interim coach Scott Brooks.