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Ball Don't Lie

Young Calif. boy with terminal leukemia dies day before idol Roy Hibbert’s planned surprise visit

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

On Wednesday, we shared a story about Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert making plans to take a special trip to Sacramento, Calif., to meet a young fan with stage four leukemia who just wanted to meet "his idol" in case his doctors were right about his timeframe with the terminal illness and he had just a couple of weeks left.

Sadly, young Lee Eddins didn't even have that much time. The 12-year-old boy died on Thursday — one day before Hibbert was slated to make his surprise visit to Lee's home.

From Mike Wells at the Indianapolis Star:

"I was very saddened and distraught," Hibbert said in an interview Thursday afternoon on CNN. "I want to keep his spirit and memory alive and be part of his cause."

Hibbert was on the way to the Indianapolis airport when he was informed of Lee's death. The 7-footer still flew to California to meet Lee's family.

Hibbert planned the trip after finding out that one of the only things Lee wanted to do before he died was meet a player he'd reportedly followed since Hibbert's days at Georgetown, when Lee would've been between the ages of four and six.

"Once I heard he had a dying wish, I knew I had to do something more than send him presents and Skype with him on the computer," Hibbert said.

Unfortunately, that meeting won't happen, a fact that Hibbert said Thursday devastated him.

"He touched me without me even meeting him," Hibbert said of Lee during his CNN interview. "The way he fought, his strength, I dedicated my season to his cause."

Our condolences to Lee's family, friends, legal guardian, Hibbert and anyone else touched by his loss.

Video via CNN.com.

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