HOUSTON – It’s the story of two young boys brought together by their love of the Houston Texans and an act of kindness that melted hearts across the city. It all started when one of them asked, “What would J.J. Watt do?”
Kanye Ortiz, 9, plays quarterback for the South Houston Wildcats. He jokes that the game of football is important because you can “finally hit someone without getting in trouble.”
Like thousands of other Texans fans in early August, Kanye and his family went to watch the team at open practice. And like many others, Kanye wanted to get close to J.J.
“We were waiting forever to get his autograph, and then he finally came around, and I was like, 'yes!'” said the young fan.
But as Kanye and his family were walking back to their car, someone caught his eye.
“…and then I saw a boy in a wheelchair who was trying really hard to get it, and he couldn’t,” said Oritz.
The young boy then made a decision that stunned his family.
“So that’s why I was like, ‘Mom, I want to give this to the boy in the wheelchair.’”
His mother snapped a photo as Kanye gave his J.J.-signed football to 15-year-old Zuriel Sanchez, who suffers from spina bifida.
“You know, I was shocked because he has been wanting that forever, and then for him—it’s something valuable—to be okay with giving it up, to make someone else happy, you know, so that was a really proud moment. I was in tears,” said Kanye’s mother.
Several weeks later, KHOU 11 Sports got the two young fans back together.
Zuriel now has his coveted J.J. Watt ball in a plastic display case. He says he’ll never forget what little Kayne did for him.
“You know, when I was going home, Kanye came up to me and told me he wanted to give me his football, and I felt excited because no one had ever, like, done that to me,” said Zuriel.
“It was a really nice gesture because not everyone does that often,” said Zuriel’s sister. “You don’t ever see someone and just hand them something, you know.”
As for Kanye, he’s now looking forward to making the right calls during his football season ahead, while at the same time, feeling good about himself for making the right call on that hot afternoon.
“If you do something nice for someone -- it will, it will help you later on, and it will help you later on in life,” said Kanye. “…if you be nice and generous, God will bless you for that.”
And now for the really good news: KHOU 11 Sports spoke with J.J.’s mom. She says the star’s foundation found out about Kanye’s kindness, and he’ll receive “something special” from J.J. in the very near future.