Corey Groves had one wish before he died. He wanted to shake hands with his hero, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. His wish came true last Christmas when the two met in Los Angeles. Groves, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last year, died on Halloween this year at the age of 17.
Who was Corey Groves?
Corey Groves was a 17-year-old Los Angeles Lakers fan who lived in Ontario. In 2019, Groves was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and was told he had one year to live, according to CP24.com. Groves was granted one wish from the Childrens Wish Foundation.
Groves, being a Lakers fan, wanted to meet LeBron James. He didn’t want an autograph. He didn’t want a jersey. Groves simply wanted to shake the hand of his hero. “As soon as I went into the arena my eyes locked on him, and he just looked directly in my direction,” Groves said after the meeting, according to CP24.com. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wanted it to be flawless.”
According to Groves’ aunt, Groves took his last breath on Halloween. His aunt Sherry posted an Instagram message this Monday, confirming Groves’ death. In her lengthy message that was posted on Groves’ Instagram page, she thanked everyone involved in making his dream come true.
LeBron James and the Lakers had quite a season
While the 2019-20 NBA season was one of the craziest ever, it was one of the best for the Los Angeles Lakers. The season came to a halt on March 11 when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz came down with the league’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The league resumed four months later in one of the strangest formats ever. The teams were forced to play all remaining games in Orlando, Florida, in a ‘bubble’ that would eliminate travel and help prevent the spread of the virus. Although no fans were allowed to attend, the rest of the season concluded without any player contracting the virus.
The Lakers went on to defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. LeBron James captured his fourth NBA championship. He was also named the MVP of the NBA Finals. James finished second in the league’s regular-season MVP voting.
Groves will be ‘missed by so many’
Corey Groves’ aunt Sherry announced Groves’ death Monday via Instagram. Groves was 17 and had battled a very aggressive form of cancer for a year. Sherry said LeBron James was Corey’s hero, but Corey was the family hero.
“Corey was a stand up boy, a scholar and a gentleman,” Sherry wrote. “He saw the good in everyone and the beauty in everything. “He tackled life head on and refused to stop until his last breath, on Halloween 2020. His only wish was to shake the hand of his hero. Corey is and will always be our hero.”
Sherry said Corey was able to meet a lot of great people because of his meeting with James. She thanked everyone involved for helping make the dream come true. she said Corey was never afraid to be himself and “he will be sadly missed by so many.”