CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - Some moments in life define you, and some are defined by how you handle them.
16-year-old Ikym Hall defined himself at a young age by handling a terrible domestic situation with maturity. A few years ago, his mom’s boyfriend shot her in the face.She died, leaving him and his three siblings to live with their aunt.
Ikym says sports saved him. He threw himself into basketball, track and football… and has earned the respect of his classmates at Concord High School. Recently, with the help of Charlotte-based charity Dream On 3, his friends sent him on a surprise trip of a lifetime: They organized he and his family flying to Pittsburgh, seeing a Steelers game and meeting the players.
Why the Steelers?
“They were my mom’s favorite team,” Ikym said. “I love the Steelers because she did.”
That storyline, about why he loved the Steelers got forwarded to the Steelers. They were ready for him the next day.
“Where’s home, my man?” asked head coach Mike Tomlin, as Ikym and his family got a tour of the facilities and a meet-and-greet with players inside the sports complex.
“Charlotte,” Ikym replied.
“Charlotte?! Charlotte is a beautiful place. I got some good friends that live down there."
Everyone had that sense of friendliness, but it was wide receiver Antonio Brown – Ikym’s favorite player – who stole the show. As Ikym watched as A.B. kindly shook hands and signed every Terrible Towel, he asked his hero a direct question.
“Hey AB, what’s it take to get here?” the usually quiet teenager asked. “A lot of hard work,” the NFL superstar replied. “Just a lot of hard work." With that, AB removed his gloves, and handed them to the wide-eyed teen as a gift.
The whole thing was life-changing, Ikym later said... all thanks to classmates looking to build someone up.
WBTV is proud to be the only station showing you these incredible stories of dreams coming true for local kids. Click the attached video to see how it all played out.