Teen Thinks His Constant Dribbling Annoys the Neighbors – Little Did He Know They Were Planning Something in Secret

Inspiring Stories

Teens sometimes get a bad rap, even when they’re not doing anything wrong. Sure, those teenage years can be a rebellious phase, but that doesn’t mean these kids aren’t good people. Sometimes, they’re just trying to make a difference in their corner of the world, just as adults are trying to do in theirs.

That’s maybe why this story of a basketball-obsessed teen in Edmonton, Alberta and his thoughtful neighbor is making international news.

A Teen With a Dream

Every day, 14-year-old Anthony Muobike grabs his basketball and heads outside to his driveway where he spends a couple of hours dribbling the ball. It’s something he does every time he has a spare minute and his passion shows: Muobike has dreams of eventually playing pro.

Unfortunately, Muobike was also hyper aware of how the neighbors might be perceiving him.

“I thought that whenever I dribble, it made a racket, and people want to sleep or something like that,” he told Global News.

Not so. Unbeknownst to the teen, his dribbling wasn’t annoying the neighbors at all. They had noticed how hard he was working and they were inspired.

The Missing Piece

One of those neighbors was Ian Ray, who had lived on the street for about 13 years. He noticed Muobike’s skills and was impressed, but he also noticed the teen and his family didn’t own a basketball net. So, he decided to try and raise the funds for one.

“He was just a kid who dribbled a basketball — all day, all night,” Ray said. “I kind of figured it would be cool if he had a net.”

Ray asked for help on Facebook, and before long, several community members offered their used nets. Ray would have been happy to take them, but then Canadian Tire got wind of the post and decided to donate a new net instead.

It didn’t stop there. Cash donations started rolling in, and before Ray knew it he had amassed $750 for the teen to spend at Sport Chek.

“I didn’t expect it to blow up like it did, but the north side is a pretty strong community, and everyone is willing to chip in when they have to. It was really nice,” Ray said.

A Major Surprise

The whole time, Muobike had no idea his neighbors were planning this surprise for him. So when Ray showed up at his door one day with a basketball net in a box, he was floored.

“Holy moly. I just see the net and it didn’t even matter that it wasn’t built yet, it was just in the box. I was like holy moly, that’s crazy,” he said. “It does touch my heart. It actually just makes me feel happy inside. It just blows my mind. Like wow.”

Muobike’s mom, Leticia Muobike, was also touched. The family had moved in about a year prior, and getting a basketball net was on the list of things to do, but they hadn’t managed it quite yet.

“I’m speechless. … This means a lot to me and my family,” she said. “I don’t have to see him bounce the ball around anymore. At least he has somewhere to practice and see his dream. This is a dream come true, and I thank everyone who believes in him. … He said he’s going to make everyone proud.”

The touching surprise went viral and even LeBron James shared it on his own social media. As far as Muobike is concerned, that’s just even more motivation for him to one day go pro.

“I will succeed. I will be in the NBA — 2026. I’ll be there and then try to give back to those people, and I will make them all proud. I will be up on your TV,” he said. “These small things can make you go the whole way.”

Investing in Kids

One takeaway from this story is the importance of supporting kids — and teens — when they’re doing something good rather than tearing them down.

It would have been easy for a neighbor or two to complain about the constant basketball dribbling in a driveway. Instead, this community recognized a good kid who was staying out of trouble and doing something valuable with his time.

It’s a nice little reminder for all of us that when we spend time encouraging kids to foster their interests and help their communities, they can flourish before our eyes. Volunteer to help coach or manage a local sports team or club. Donate money to these organizations when the opportunity presents itself. Or if you see a teen in their driveway practicing hockey, basketball, or any other sport, smile and encourage them to keep doing their best.

With that kind of support, one day, they may surprise us all.

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