NBA star hands out biggest assist of season to fan

Published 11:48 am Tuesday, April 7, 2015

On a day off from trying to carry the Oklahoma City Thunder into the NBA playoffs, Russell Westbrook used the time to make one Oklahoma City mother very happy.

Westbrook presented 19-year-old Kerstin Gonzalez with a brand new car Monday at the offices at Sunbeam Family Services, which is dedicated to providing care for the poor and working poor.

“There were definitely tears of joy and I could tell some tears of hard work and all the different things she’s been through in her life,” Westbrook said. “Today was a stepping stone in showing her that everything is going to be alright.”

Gonzalez was with with her two boys, four-year-old Matthew and two-year-old Adam, when Westbrook pulled his sneak attack. After getting pregnant when she was 14 years old, Gonzalez has been taking care of her sons ever since and the gift couldn’t have come at a better time.

The engine on her current car wouldn’t start Monday morning. The automobile was so unreliable she’s been borrowing cars from family and friends to be able to get to work, to get to school and to pick up her sons.

“It’s just all the hard work that she’s done to be able to keep her family together,” Westbrook said. “When you see somebody working hard towards a goal and finding ways every day to keep everything afloat for her two boys and her family, you can’t do anything but help them out.”

After Westbrook showed Gonzalez the keys to the car, he ushered her and her boys outside to see it. The Kia SUV was actually the car given to Westbrook when he won the Most Valuable Player award for the 2015 All-Star Game in New York City. When he received it, he aimed to find a recipient in the Oklahoma City community that truly needed it. Through the help of the Thunder and Sunbeam, Westbrook found Gonzalez, and the planning to surprise her commenced.

“He was a gentleman,” Gonzalez said of Westbrook. “He was amazing, he was sweet and so attentive to what I had to say. He’s a really awesome person.”

Kinney writes for The Norman (OK.) Transcript