PINEVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Former Carolina Panther Steve Smith is getting results by playing the role of Santa. The former star wide receiver surprised students with a shopping spree and it's something the group says they will never forget.
Smith opened his heart and his wallet Wednesday and teamed up with Dick's Sporting Goods in Pineville. He told the group of boys that instead of giving them each $100 to spend, he wanted to make that $200.
The boys are part of Life Hoops which is an inner city youth basketball and mentorship program. They went straight for basketball gear including new shoes and socks. Smith proudly played the role of personal shopper and mentor.
"I was an angel tree baby right up to high school. It's not just something we do to check off our list but it's something we believe in," explained Smith about giving back.
"I had heard about this stuff before but I never expected this to happen and he's a real cool dude," said Tymaine Smalls.
It's a once in a life time opportunity. The boys carefully stayed within their budget and thanked Smith.
The true meaning for the man behind it all.
"At the end of the day one of these kids is going to do something special and I want this moment to speak to them so they do the same," said Smith.