If you spend just a few minutes with Orey Green-Jalal, you’ll quickly learn what his favorite thing is.
“I like basketball,” said Orey, who has developmental disabilities.
The 28-year-old from Arlington, Texas, is a Special Olympics athlete who spends much of his time shooting baskets in his driveway.
“All day,” said Teresa Green, Orey’s mother. “You have to make him stop to take a drink of water or come inside.”
That’s why he was devastated when he came home a few weeks ago and his hoop was gone. A thief stole it while he and his family were out.
“He was hurt,” said Green. “He wanted the person to go to jail.”
Orey later saw Arlington Police Officer Natalia Kuehling at a community meeting and told her what had happened. She says the conversation they had was heartbreaking.
“He seems like such a nice, nice guy,” said Kuehling. “And I just don’t understand why somebody would do that.”
She wanted to help him, so she called a faith-based group the department works with called the Arlington Clergy and Police Partnership.
Members of the group say Orey’s story got to them. They decided to use the money they’d been saving for a Christmas party to instead buy a new basketball hoop for him.
“I think that was really the goal – to be a blessing to him,” said Pastor Renee Hornbuckle, an ACAPP board member. “Just to let him know that somebody cared.”
Members of ACAPP and several police officers surprised Orey by delivering the hoop to his house and assembling it.
“The look on his face and the joy in his eye – it was priceless,” said Charles Richardson, ACAPP Board President.
They also poured a cement base for the hoop and filled the pole with cement to make sure it won’t be stolen again.
Green says she’s overwhelmed by their kindness and still can’t believe this happened. A very appreciative Orey is glad it did.
“I like it,” said Orey.