Antone Exum could have spent his $470 Best Buy gift certificate on anything he wanted. He and his Virginia Tech teammates were given the gift certificates as part of their prize packages for playing in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, and for a college student at Best Buy, there is certainly no shortage of options.

But it's not what Exum got for himself that has made headlines. It's what he didn't get that has turned into one of the best stories of the holiday season.

The junior cornerback noticed three boys playing PlayStation 3 in the store, and he decided the money would be better spent on them.

"I think I was blessed to have a lot of fortunate Christmases when I was a kid, so I hope that every little kid deserves to have a perfect Christmas," Exum told the Orlando Sentinel.

Naturally, the youngsters were thrilled. The boys got a PlayStation 3, a BlackBerry, and with the help of Exum's teammates Tariq Edwards and Marcus Davis -- who chipped in some of their gift cards as well -- the boys bought a few games for their new console.

It was a dream come true for the kids.

"They asked me like three times, 'So, we get anything that we want?'" Exum recalled. "I said, 'Yeah, I got this money and I want you to go shopping and get what you want.'"

Exum broke the story himself with a photo on Instagram and this widely read tweet:


All in all, it's been one special holiday for the NFL prospect.

"I know it was a Christmas that I won't forget," Exum said. "Because I won't forget those smiles and the excitement on their faces when I told them they could get whatever they wanted in the store."

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

The Houston Texans' offensive line is much of the reason why Arian Foster gets around the field so easily. One of the sturdiest lines in the NFL, these men have allowed Foster to run for at least 1,200 yards in each of the last three seasons.

And now, Foster is returning the favor by helping his offensive linemen move a little quicker.

The Pro Bowl running back, who is known for riding a Segway around Reliant Stadium, bought each of the linemen a Segway this week as a token of his appreciation.

The big guys were understandably thrilled.

"The Segways are crazy," guard Brandon Brooks said. "It's the best Christmas present I've ever gotten. Once we learn how to ride it, we’ll be alright."

If you're wondering how Foster is paying for the Segways, which can cost several thousand dollars each, here's your answer: Foster is making $5 million this year and recently signed a five-year extension worth $43.5 million.

Quarterback Matt Schaub was cautiously optimistic about the scooters. While he said the lineman were certainly deserving of the gift, he was concerned about their safety.

Foster, however, had no doubt that the lineman would be safe.

"Nah man, they’re professional athletes," he said. "Sometimes they’re like a polar bear on ice but they should be fine. You can’t go that fast on it so you might get a scrape when you fall but I don't think they’re going to fall."

Foster says the offensive linemen give him grief for riding his Segway around, so if nothing else this gift should help out his cause as well.

"Anytime I give a gift, I always try to give something thoughtful," Foster said. "A couple of guys like Chris Myers and (Duane) Brown and Wade Smith always getting on me about riding my Segway. 'You can’t walk? You too good to walk?’ I'm like, 'nah man, I just like to ride wheels.' I saw a little bit of jealously in their eyes when they were talking about me, so I figured I’d give all the linemen a gift."

(H/T to Off the Bench)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

WWE star Daniel Bryan helped a 7-year-old cancer patient live out a dream this week.

Connor, who was diagnosed with cancer of the brain and spine at age 3, is a huge WWE fan. Bryan is his favorite wrestler, and Connor has had his heart set on meeting him.

In October, Connor even filmed a YouTube video in which he discussed his strong desire to meet Bryan and pin him in Bryan's signature "no lock" hold. The video has garnered nearly 30,000 views, and the resulting publicity eventually made its way to Bryan.

So on Tuesday, just about two months after the video was posted, Bryan visited Connor. And in classic WWE fashion, what Connor was looking forward to most was pinning his hero to the ground.

The time they spent together may have been as meaningful for Bryan as it was for Connor.

“It kinda brings a tear to my eye to know somebody like Connor wants to meet somebody like me," Bryan said. "So that's kinda cool."

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

For a 6-year-old kid, it's hard to imagine a better birthday present than your favorite football player coming to your party.

So you can imagine what it must have been like for kindergartner Ben Levin to see Stepfan Taylor, Stanford's star running back, to show up at his birthday celebration.

Levin's dad Jon, a professor and the chair of Stanford's Economics Department, emailed Cardinal coach David Shaw with his son's longshot wish:

"We have been going to all the football games this year," Jon wrote. "Last week, when we were watching the first UCLA game, Ben announced that he wanted to invite Stepfan Taylor to his birthday party. Naturally we told him that probably Stepfan Taylor would be too busy to come to a kindergarten birthday party, but that Ben could email an invitation."

Sure enough, Taylor got the message and showed up to Ben's party. He played football with the kids and even tried some of the cake.

"It was probably the greatest 6-year-old birthday party ever," Jon Levin told the University's website. "Very cool and I was so impressed with Stepfan's generosity."

(H/T to Game On!)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

Ryan Lochte will never forget getting snubbed by one of his boyhood swimming idols.

Lochte says when he was a kid, he clamored for this unnamed man's autograph only to to be coldly turned down.

And so now Lochte does his best to give back to fans. Lochte has presented his medals to spectators at meets in the past, and he continued the tradition over the weekend at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul.

After breaking his own world record in the 200-meter individual medley, Lochte presented his gold medal to 9-year-old Arda Cakmak.

"I remember when as a kid I looked up to an Olympian superstar," Lochte said. "I won't mention his name [but] I asked for an autograph and he said 'no'. I told my parents that if I ever get in the same position, I'll do it."

After the event, Lochte tweeted a photo of himself and Arda.

"One of the main reasons for racing is because of my fans, so I always want to give something back," Lochte said. "If I took the medal, it would end up in a sock drawer. If I give it to a fan, they're going to treasure it."

The 28-year-old Lochte was voted "best male swimmer" of the World Championships.

(H/T to Game On!)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

With a huge bout looming against Juan Manuel Marquez this weekend, Manny Pacquiao took time out of his busy schedule Thursday to visit a teen suffering from a brain tumor.

John Rocero's dream was only to see Pacquiao fight, but this week he got much, much more.

Pacquiao met with the 18-year-old Rocero and his family at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Pacquiao exchanged gifts with the Roceros before leading the family in silent prayer.

"Initially, (John) told me, 'I just want to see him fight,'" John's mother, Patricia, told USA Today. "Now he will have the best Christmas ever."

The 18-year-old Rocero was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, and has since undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Rocero, whose father was born in Pacquiao's native Philippines, worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet Pacquiao.

This isn't the first time Pacquiao has met with a sick teenager through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He said last year he met with another cancer-stricken teen, and since their meeting that boy has become cancer free.

"He visited me yesterday when I was jogging," Pacquiao said. "When we prayed, he had no hair. Now he has a lot of hair. God helped him, not me. I am just the instrument."

(H/T to Game On!)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

He's the fourth highest paid athlete in the world and has endorsement deals with Nike, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and State Farm, but LeBron James might not be satisfied with his $53 million yearly paycheck.

During a recent visit to the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade, the 2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year was asked by one of the youngsters how much he gets paid. His response?

"Not enough."

Funny, because last we checked, LeBron is not only the highest paid NBA star, but the highest paid athlete from any of the four major sporting leagues. Only Tiger Woods, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather rank above James on Forbes' most recent rankings.

Of course, with that comment James might have been referring to his slightly reduced salary, which he agreed to in the summer of 2010 when he took his talents to Miami Beach. And that turned out pretty well for him.

Nitpicking aside, James' visit was a dream come true for many of the kids in the club. They had no idea he was coming, and as you can see below, he made quite an entrance. He took some time to answer questions and take photos with the children, and he also dished some good advice.

"In life, kids, there's gonna be obstacles that you all have to go through. There's gonna be ups and downs," James said. "There are going to be things that you feel like you can't accomplish, but you have to put everything into it so that you make sure you power through it."

WSVN-TV -

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

The theme is the same, but these stories never get old. A youngster with cerebral palsy wants to be part of a school sports team, and some good-hearted people do what they can to make the kid's day and create a moment to savor forever.

The latest example came on a wrestling mat in Tennessee with two seventh-graders.

Jared Stevens, the boy with cerebral palsy, was placed on the mat. His opponent, Justin Kievit, reached down to shake his hand. Then after the signal for the match to begin, Justin manuevered himself so that Jared was on top.

The referee slapped the mat to give Jared the win by pin.

This text will be replaced

This video by Justin's parents has more than 90,000 Facebook shares as of Tuesday afternoon.

"It's the bigger message," Jared's dad, Phil Stevens, told The Tennessean. "It's about all the people who had to give to make it happen."

Phil also told The Tennessean that although his son is 13, Jared is physically equivalent to a 6-month old, and the paper reports "intellectually, he's very close to his age level. And socially, he hits it out of the park."

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

Tags:
Wrestling