When he was a member of the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen wasn’t a scrooge with the basketball but recently as a part of the Make-A-Wish by a little girl, he got to share the stage with Scrooge.
Pippen joined with the Illinois chapter of Make-A-Wish to perform in “A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Pippen was joined on stage by a 7-year-old girl by the name of La’Ren Kimble who wished to appear in the play as part of her Make-A-Wish. La’Ren was diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome when she was very young which evolved into kidney cancer.
La’Ren has since survived the illness and had the moment of a lifetime with Scottie who was inspired by her story:
“The Goodman Theatre has been bringing in different athletes and celebrities over the year for cameos like mine, so this year was my year,” said Pippen, who serves as Special Advisor to the President & C.O.O. for the Bulls. “To be able to work with La’Ren, a beautiful young lady, was what it was all about for me.”
“For someone who has faced so much adversity, she couldn’t be more upbeat and energetic,” said Pippen. “La’Ren is truly inspiring.”
On the night of the play, Scottie and La’Ren played London natives and Pippen described how he felt stepping out onto the stage for the first time:
“The sentimental value behind this is very different that what I accomplished as a player,” said Pippen of the experience. “This has been a lot of fun. I had never even been to a play. You have to adjust to a different kind of audience and how they cheer. It’s definitely not like playing in a sports arena. I was interested to see the different mix.”
“To be a part of this with Christmas coming up, plus the Make-A-Wish element, makes it very special,” added Pippen. “As a player, you try to do what you can to be a part of the kids’ lives in the Make-A-Wish events that I’ve done in the past. But this is different than what I’ve done in the past. We’ve really had an opportunity to interact. The weight to perform was on both our shoulders. But we held each other up and it was a lot of fun.”
As a special gesture during rehearsals, Scottie gave La’Ren and her family tickets to a Chicago Bulls game after meeting them.
La’Ren saw the Bulls beat the Philadelphia 76ers in early December and noted below her favorite part of the game:
“Seeing the Bulls win,” said La’Ren. “I couldn’t believe how much shouting there was.”
(Courtesy of Chicago Bulls/Image Courtesy of Goodman Theater)