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Former Utah Jazz player Malik Beasley comes back to donate shoes to kids

Posted at 7:21 AM, Feb 17, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Every student at one elementary school in the Glendale neighborhood is sporting a new pair of athletic shoes thanks to a non-profit and some help from Malik Beasley.

“Shoes that Fit” is a non-profit with a vision to supply shoes to every child in need.

The organization partnered with NBA player Malik Beasley and his foundation to give a pair of shoes to students at Salt Lake City’s Parkview Elementary.

Despite being traded from the Utah Jazz to the Los Angeles Lakers last week, Beasley boarded an early flight to Utah to help distribute the shoes to the children.

“I was going to do this regardless,” Beasley said. “It's a special feeling. I love giving back to the community.”

Malik’s mom Deena helped organize the event. She explained why a new pair of shoes can make a big difference in the life of a child.

“Each child’s foot was measured. Those shoes are not just a pair of shoes, they are custom,” she said. “Some people ask us, ‘why would you do custom made shoes for kids?’ I said, ‘because it makes them feel confident, makes them feel they can run faster, makes them feel a part of the now.’”

Smiles and cheers blanketed the auditorium as Malik handed out shoes and signed autographs for the students.

“The last time I got some new shoes was in first grade,” said Martin, a second-grade student.

His classmate Sam added, “It means everything to me.”

“Shoes that Fit” believes a new pair of properly fitting shoes empowers children to feel more confident and be more active which leads to improved results in the classroom and in life.

Beasley agrees.

“It means a lot,” he said. “Even when I get new shoes now, I am happy to get them.”

While the trade means Beasley is no longer shooting hoops for the Jazz, he still managed to pull off a slam dunk for Utah children.

“I am just happy to be here,” Beasley said. “Florida or Utah – I was going to make it.”

In the process he scored some points with these young students.

“I’m his number 1 fan,” Sam said.