Teen with size 23 feet receives new shoes from Shaq

Any adult responsible for raising a teen will tell you that not only do teens eat a lot and sleep nearly as much as they did as infants, they also grow quickly. Sometimes it feels like their growth spurts are literally happening overnight. You go to sleep with a squeaky voiced teenager that's still shorter than you only to wake up to what appears to be a fully grown man wearing your child's clothes.

It's no wonder that parents can have a hard time keeping up with the ever changing clothes and shoe sizes that come with a growing teen. But Tamika Neal's son has surpassed what would be considered the average height and weight of a 16-year-old, which means he's also outgrown sizes carried in the stores.

According to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, boys aged 16 are typically between 5-foot-3 and 6-foot, weighing between 104 to 180 pounds. Jor'el Bolden is a towering 6-foot-5 and 380 pounds with a size 23 shoe.

Except, Bolden's mom couldn't find a size 23 shoe for her son to wear. Out of options, the mother son duo turned to the local news station in Missouri where they live, KCTV 5 to explain the inability to find shoes that fit him. It didn't take long for the story to pick up steam and soon enough it caught the attention of someone that knows all too well how hard it is to find extra large shoes.

Shaquille O'neal, retired NBA player who stands at 7-foot-1, weighs 324 pounds and wears a size 22 shoe, came to the rescue. Entertainment Tonight got in contact with Bolden's mother and informed her that Shaq wanted to speak to them. According to KCTV 5, the duo FaceTimed the NBA legend who informed them that they should be expecting something in the mail from him.

Shaq sent along three boxes full of clothes and 20 pairs of shoes for the teen, some of them were from Shaq's own closet. Neal told the news station, “It’s better than Christmas morning, Santa didn’t send this, Shaq did."

Neal explained to USA TODAY that Bolden has always had above average sized feet since birth. Due to his size, Neal had to forgo the cute soft baby shoes that usually come with baby outfits and resort to socks only. The only shoes Neal could find before Shaq's gift was on eBay and were a size too small causing Bolden's feet to hurt when he walked.

Since the mom was having such a hard time finding her son shoes, she had originally started a GoFundMe page to pay for custom shoes to be made, it has currently raised just over $12,000. After she went on the news, donations poured in, which Neal says will be used to go towards larger shoes when the time comes. Since Bolden is only 16, he will likely have another growth spurt which will require an even larger shoe size, but for now she's thankful he can now walk without discomfort thanks to the NBA star.

"“Thank you for taking the time and the money that you have earned to give to me when I needed it,” Bolden tells KCTV 5, “Thank you for all of the things that will come from it and that already have.”

This isn't the first time Shaq has helped out a teen struggling to find shoes. March 2023, Eric Kilburn Jr. and his mom were struggling to find the 6-foot-10, high school freshman a pair of size 23 shoes as well when the NBA star reached out to gift him with new shoes. Maybe instead of the tooth fairy, Shaq is becoming the shoe fairy to some very lucky, very tall teenagers.


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