WATCH: The Toronto Raptors rewarded a Good Samaritan for his kind actions during the Christmas season. Mariann Dimain has the details.
A man hailed as a Good Samaritan for helping an elderly woman pay for her grandson’s gift last Christmas got a special thank you from the Toronto Raptors.
Anthony Ibrahim sat court-side at Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Air Canada Centre. It was the first time he attended a professional basketball game.
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“I am pumped up, I can feel my heart beating,” said Ibrahim from his front row seats at the ACC.
The Toronto Raptors invited Ibrahim to the game after hearing about his act of kindness last December at a hat store in Guelph Ontario. The teen was shopping when he was approached by 80-year-old Pat Montgomerie who wanted his opinion on which hat to purchase for her 31-year-old grandson Graham Guitard.
When Montgomerie realized she couldn’t afford to buy both a hat and a toque, Ibrahim paid for the second hat. He wrote his name down on the back of the receipt before leaving the store, but Montgomerie and her family wanted to personally thank him for his random act of kindness.
After Global News ran a story on their attempts to locate the good samaritan, Ibrahim was found and both Montgomerie and her grandson were able to thank him in person. Guitard, who plays basketball for the Special Olympics, gave Ibrahim one of his medals as a sign of his appreciation.
Both Ibrahim and Guitard were given tickets to Sunday’s game after the team heard about their story.
“I didn’t expect anything, to be honest, for buying a toque,” said Ibrahim
WATCH: Man who was recipient of generosity honoured by Raptors
For Guitard’s brothers, Clinton and Fraser, that speaks to Ibrahim’s good character.
“Genuinely a really nice guy. If we had more people like him in the world we would be set,” said Fraser Guitard.
“I think it’s so awesome that the Raptors recognized it and we all get to come out and hang out,” added Clinton Guitard.
Ibrahim and two friends, as well as Guitard and his brothers attended the Raptors pre-game practice where they got to meet Jonas Valenciunas, get his autograph and pose for pictures.
“It’s really fun to see them play up-close,” said Guitard.
Ibrahim was also in awe as he watched the Raptors shoot around on court.
“I have never been to a basketball game and being courtside is kind of insane,” said Ibrahim.
Both Ibrahim and Guitard plan to keep in touch after the game. For both young men it’s an unexpected friendship that has given them an experience neither could have imagined.
“It is very much a dream come true,” said Guitard.