As the van pulled up to the hotel, LJFF team members were waiting in anticipation to welcome the Long family to Miami! Jeff, Jenny, Conner, Cayden and Cooper received a PROMISE from LeBron back in December at the Sportsman of the Year Awards. The PROMISE had made: to bring the family down to Miami from their home in Tennessee for a great weekend on the beach and to cheer on the Heat. The inspiring story of Conner and Cayden has touched many, including LeBron… and he kept his PROMISE this past weekend.
The Long’s didn’t waste any time getting settled into their hotel room where goodies awaited them from LeBron. As exciting as that was, what really hit the spot was the cookies and milk they found left by the hotel staff in their rooms. Conner was determined to get a run in after a long day of travel while Cayden wheeled around the room checking out their home for the weekend.
After a good night’s rest, the family had some fun in the sun as they enjoyed the sprawling beauty of South Beach. Conner didn’t let the cool ocean water stop him from jumping right in! Playing in the sand and ocean was a blast for the Long’s, but the family was especially excited for the experience they’d be having later in the day and the reason they were in Miami: to cheer on LeBron and the Heat.
The LJFF team was there to greet the family when they arrived at the arena and escorted them to the court. Cayden seemed to know exactly where he was going as he sped ahead toward the doors that led to the pre-game warm-up. Cooper followed suit as the family approached the court and he wasn’t scared to climb the stairs and join the early spectators in their seats. It wasn’t long before the family was whisked to the court to wait for LeBron. While Conner was waiting courtside passing the basketball to Heat players during their warm-up, Cayden was enjoying zipping up and down the ramp beside the court. Within an instant, LeBron was hug-tackling Conner who was thrilled to tell LeBron that he was ready to cheer on the Heat. LeBron immediately asked where to find Cayden and rushed over to give him a hug and warm welcome.
The Long family, decked out in their Heat gear courtesy of LeBron, were most definitely his biggest fans in the arena that night. Conner made sure to announce each time LeBron was on the court and was very pleased with the dunks he witnessed. Cooper was making friends with the fans around him and it’s clear he’s a huge fan of cotton candy, which was confirmed as he snuck into the second bag when no one was looking! The family left the arena proud fans of their winning team and high-scoring, super-dunking LeBron. It was back to the hotel where no doubt they crashed after a fun-filled day.
The Foundation team stopped by the hotel in the morning to see the family off; the goodbyes were tough but the team made an important PROMISE to the Long’s. They PROMISED that they will be at one of Conner & Cayden’s triathlons this summer cheering them on. Get ready Long’s… the Foundation team takes cheerleading to a whole new level!
If you haven’t had the privilege of hearing their story, check out this inspiring feature: