Michael Jordan Grants Wish At Celebrity Tournament For Make-A-Wish

The 10th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational welcomed a very special guest to both ARIA Resort & Casino and Shadow Creek Golf Course this weekend. Sixteen-year-old Make-A-Wish wish kid Marc Garcia traveled from his home in Kunkletown, Pa. to Las Vegas for an unforgettable experience with six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan.


Michael Jordan Grants A Teen’s Wish At MJCI Invitational

Marc Garcia, Michael Jordan and Reuben Garcia
Marc Garcia, Michael Jordan and Reuben Garcia

In addition to meeting his idol Michael Jordan, Marc enjoyed a putting lesson on the greens with the legendary athlete and also was invited to the tournament’s signature MJCI Celebration, where he had the opportunity to mingle and take photos with the many celebrities and athletes in attendance. It was a day unlike any other for Garcia as he was able to live out his wish to meet one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The best part was that he was able to experience his wish with his brother Reuben, who also wants to be a professional baller; and adoring mother Mercedes.

Marc Garcia and Family With Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan and Marc Garcia and Family

As Chief Wish Ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jordan spent time with Garcia, his brother Reuben and mother Mercedes Abad at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Garcia wants to be a ball player when he grows up and has always wished to meet the basketball legend. Garcia’s mother was overwhelmed when her son finally had his lifetime wish fulfilled, while Reuben, also an avid Jordan fan, was left speechless. Garcia and his brother grew up watching Michael Jordan and collecting his shoes and shirts; and when Garcia was in and out of the hospital as a young boy with sickle cell anemia, meeting the star was his only wish.

Michael Jordan and Marc Garcia
Marc Garcia and Michael Jordan

Never having played golf before, Jordan gave Garcia invaluable golf tips and taught him how to make the perfect putt on the gorgeous greens of Shadow Creek. The pair became instant friends and exchanged laughs as they both sunk two great putts, as Garcia’s mother and brother erupted in cheers.

Michael Jordan and Marc Garcia
Michael Jordan and Marc Garcia at Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational

The emotional encounter was also marked by intimate moments as the family learned more about the pro athlete, asking him about favorite workouts, meals, what it feels like to be a world-class athlete and how the star “jumps so high.” Jordan told Garcia and his family that he was always able to jump sky-high but that his on-court skills did not soar until college. The larger-than-life athlete surprised the boys by being much taller than they expected.

Marc Garcia and Michael Jordan
Marc Garcia and Michael Jordan at Shadow Creek Golf Course

The boys’ fun continued that evening at the signature Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational Celebration at ARIA Resort & Casino. Garcia and his brother received star treatment on the blue carpet as they took photos with several of their favorite athletes and celebrities, including Drew Brees, Gabriel Aubry and the Jabbawockeez. While posing for cameras on the blue carpet, Jordan noticed Garcia and invited him over for a photo as he affectionately said, “Aw, my boys.” Inside the MJCI Celebration, Garcia and his brother soaked up the atmosphere and felt like VIPs in a room filled with legendary athletes and entertainers. The boys were thrilled to track down singer and actress Christina Milian and football star Jerome Bettis for a photo opp before the end of the night.

Marc Garcia, Drew Brees and Reuben Garcia
Marc Garcia, Drew Brees and Reuben Garcia
Marc Garcia, Christina Milian and Reuben Garcia
Marc Garcia, Christina Milian and Reuben Garcia

As a beneficiary of the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, Make-A-Wish Foundation receives great appreciation and enthusiasm from Jordan and the celebrity golfers. Through the generosity of Michael, the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational and golfers who donate their prize money to Make-A-Wish Foundation, wishes have been granted to nearly 50 children in the past two years. On Saturday morning, April 2, ARIA Resort & Casino’s President and COO Bill McBeath joined Jordan to present Make-A-Wish Foundation with a $100,000 check. Accepting the check on behalf of Make-A-Wish Foundation was Kathy Forshey, vice president of corporate alliances, as well as Garcia.

Bill Cody is an entertainment, technology and luxury travel reporter in Las Vegas. He reports on celebrities, events, tech, food, Las Vegas and luxury travel.

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