High School Basketball Player’s Epic Christmas Gift to Special Needs Classmate Goes Viral

A high school basketball player showed up and showed out for the season of giving, proving that it doesn’t take a lot to show love and appreciation to those around you.

Charles Thompson Jr.’s epic Christmas gift to his friend Shanquis, a special needs student at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Md., went viral just before the holiday weekend.


According to the Washington Post, Thompson was so excited to give Shanquis his present and see his reaction that he got to school 20 minutes early on Friday and waited.

“I got something for you, baby,” Thompson called out to Shanquis as he walked up to him, as seen on the video Thompson posted on social media.

Shanquis, whose last name Thompson declined to offer out of respect for his family and privacy, eagerly accepted the present, tearing through the wrapping to reveal a professional-wrestling championship belt.

Of course, Thompson knew that Shanquis, an avid wrestling fan, would absolutely love the gift. Shanquis immediately threw the belt over his shoulder like a natural pro, declaring himself “the heavyweight champion of the world!” as he pounded his stomach.


Thompson then helped Shanquis strap the belt to his waist.

“They said he didn’t take it off all day,” Thompson told the Post.

Thompson posted the video of the interaction on Twitter, and it immediately went viral.


Several people responded to Thompson’s video, with tearful reactions to the onion-chopping ninjas in the room.


The video captured so much attention, wrestler Cory Machado invited the pair to a National Pro Wrestling League event in March.


According to the Post, this isn’t the first time Thompson has spread love and kindness in his own little way. One year during the holidays, he spent half of his allowance on Beanie Babies that he handed out at a local nursing home. Another year, he decided to buy sandwiches for a homeless shelter.

Thompson is using his sudden fame to make sure people get the message: This isn’t about him, but about Shanquis.


“Some people have reached out to me at Long Reach, saying, ‘You’re famous,’” Thompson said. “I don’t really look at it as me being famous. It’s all about Shanquis.

“This shouldn’t be seen as a big thing. Whether [Shanquis] has a disability or not, we should care for each other,” he added. “If others do things like this, then the world can truly become a better place.”


Read more at the Washington Post.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Breanna Edwards

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi