5-Year-Old With Leukemia Signs With Utah Jazz, Plays With Team For One Special Day

With his family and the team’s president looking on, free agent JP Gibson signed to the Utah Jazz on Monday night. He received a Jazz jersey and shortly afterward found himself on the basketball court with his new NBA teammates for a team scrimmage.

Gibson, by the way, is 5 years old.

The boy was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012. Thanks to the Jazz and the Anything Can Be project, which helps make the dreams of young cancer patients come true through the art of photography, the pint-sized basketball fan got the chance to sign a contract with his favorite team for one very special evening.

“We are a young team and we decided that we’d go even a little younger,” Jazz President Randy Rigby quipped at a press conference Monday, per the Deseret News. “JP Gibson is the newest member of the Utah Jazz team for the day.”

At the signing ceremony, Gibson reportedly wrote his name on his contract in purple crayon. Later, the youngster joined his teammates in uniform for the annual preseason intra-squad scrimmage at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Gibson was a big hit with Jazz fans. He received a standing ovation when he stepped onto the court and later won another round of loud applause when he scored a slam dunk (with a bit of help from center Rudy Gobert).


Gibson's family members said they were blown away by the experience.

“We had no clue anything like this was going to happen. We just thought a little quick picture and [we’d] be done. The Jazz have been great at making this dream come true,” dad Josh Gibson told the Deseret News. “I wish it was for a different reason. ... We’re happy that there’s great people out there that care.”

Watch JP Gibson play with the Jazz in the video above.



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