Braulio Noriega had his leg amputated above the knee nearly 10 years ago. Now, he plays for the Jr. Road Warriors, a team in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Officials said he survived cancer when he was 6 years old. He aspires to play wheelchair basketball in college and to play abroad, perhaps in Mexico, his native country.
In the video taken Saturday before the Warriors' game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the 15-year-old wipes tears from his face when he tries his new wheelchair.
"Oh my God…and I get to meet you too!" said Noriega. "I'm so pumped!"
"You're staying for the game, right? We need that winning energy," said Thompson about the teen's reaction.
He was surprised just before the tip-off. The donation comes from a larger collaboration between the Warriors Basketball Academy, the Thompson Family Foundation, and the CAF.
"Congratulations for everything you have done for the Junior Road Warriors, for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and today is your day," said an official from the Challenged Athletes Association.
This isn't the first time Thompson donated a wheelchair. In 2021 with the CAF, Thomspon surprised Kumar Polk with a new wheelchair and a video message.
Polk, another wheelchair basketball player, previously lost the ability to use his legs in 2015.
"It's gonna be awesome to see you up there ballin', I'm excited for you," Thompson said in the message.