Special Olympics athlete spends day playing basketball with NBA star

PHOTO: Devin Booker of the Phoneix Suns, left, coaching his Draft Lottery guest, Special Olympics athlete Noah. Play@Suns/Twitter
WATCH Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker surprises a special 11-year-old fan

Brad Smith never imagined in his wildest dreams that he'd be in New York with his younger brother Noah and the Phoenix Suns' star guard Devin Booker.

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Noah, 11, was born with a hole in his heart, and would undergo multiple surgeries throughout his young life. Brad said doctors told the family hours after Noah was born that he might not "walk, talk" and wouldn't have a good quality of life. They even suggested putting him in a home.

Noah's mother is a special needs teacher and immediately told hospital staff after he was born, "You don't know how much I believe in these kids," Brad said. Now he is a Special Olympics gold medalist, who plays basketball and baseball, among other sports. He's looking to take up swimming in the summer.

His perseverance and story impressed Booker and the Suns so much that they reached out to Brad to see if the Smith brothers would come to New York on Tuesday for the NBA draft lottery.

Booker spent the whole day with Noah, playing basketball in Brooklyn, grabbing real NYC pizza and taking him around to see landmarks. Noah will be Booker's guest at the lottery tonight.

Noah also brought one of his gold medals for luck, in hopes the Suns land the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft.

"I don't even have a gold medal yet," Booker said of his new friend. "I feel like we owe [this] to them. I wish I could do this with every kid in the Phoenix community."

Brad says Noah continues to exceed expectations and never takes life for granted.

"He's definitely proving them all wrong," Brad said.

The NBA Draft Lottery airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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