CHARLOTTE, NC - It was the surprise of a lifetime for 10 youth football players from the youth charitable organization "Most Valuable Kids."
Panthers star Luke Kuechly met them at the DICK’s Sporting Goods at SouthPark Mall. Each kid received a $100 gift card, and shopped alongside Kuechly.
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At events like these, most people think about the kids' experience, but Kuechly says it’s just as fun to be on the other side.
“I think with kids you see very real emotion from them,” Kuechly said. “I’m sure they’re excited to come in here and get some cool gear, but when those kids’ faces light up I think it’s even cooler for us and the other guys on the team.”
The gear serves an immediate purpose. The kids are attending Panthers' running back Jonathan Stewart’s ProCamp this weekend.
Everyone knows if you look good and feel good, then you play good.
“Because when you walk on the field looking fresh, instead of wearing my other stuff,” Tarez Hamilton said.
Some kids thought the new gear was the best part of the night, others liked the attention.
“I was like, ‘I’m about to be famous’,” Chadz Stevenson said.
Maybe someday, but for now, they’ll settle learning the fundamentals from some of the best football players in the world.
“I just want to hit somebody,” Quantay Brown said.
It’s fair to say, Kuechly would approve of that mindset.