Thanksgiving Day Dreams (Helping One Young Man’s Dreams Come True!)

by Kenny Eller on November 29, 2011

Campbell University’s Eric Griffin with a MONSTER DUNK!

When I began this site with my rather large dream of playing my childhood hero Michael Jordan 1-on-1, back in August of 2010, I knew then that I’d need a lot of help.

I knew I could work on my game and get in the best shape of my life and do all of the things that I could control, but that in the end it would take the HELP of someone else to make my dream come true.

I never thought that when I began this journey that I would be placed in a position to HELP someone else’s dream come true, but on Thanksgiving Day, that’s just what happened.

Just as I was getting ready to head over to my parents to enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities, I received the following email from a young man sharing his dream with me.


I just found your website  What a great idea and website! You are an inspiration for me. I also am a big fan of Eric Griffin from Campbell University and I saw that you interviewed him. He is a great dunker and a great all around player. Do you know how I might get in touch with him? Maybe you have his email or phone number? I’ve been a Campbell University fan my entire life. I’m 13 years old and I’ve loved them my whole life cuz my favorite uncle went there for college and I want to go there too. I just want to tell Eric how much I like watching him play basketball. Maybe one day I can play at Campbell too.

Thank you for your great website and for any help you might offer to get in touch with Eric Griffin. 


Adam Thompson

Me and Eric Griffin

If I think about how I met Eric Griffin and now perhaps why I met him, it makes me appreciate this amazing walk of mine so much more!

Shooting alone in an empty gym one morning back in May, I met Coach Kevin Sutton.  We talked about my journey to play MJ and within minutes Coach Sutton, one of the kindest men I’ve met, was inviting me for an informal workout with a group of high level ball players, so that I could better my game.

I went to the first workout and as fate would have it, was paired with Campbell University’s high flying Eric Griffin.  Through the some two-hour session, we did ball handling drills, shooting drills, and so on with one another.

Eric impressed me with who he was as a person, as much as he did with his sick basketball game, so when I came up with the idea of 23 Questions, a sort of informal interview that would allow some insight into the lives of the best basketball players I knew, I thought immediately of Eric.

Now some seven months from when Eric and I initially met, the reason for our meeting, came to light in an email from a young man, just 13 years of age.

Thanksgiving Day Dreams

When I got Adam’s email I was immediately almost overwhelmed with emotions, because I know what it was like to send an email filled with hope.  I’ve sent tons of them during this journey.  Too many to count at this point.

Most people I’ve reached out to, never respond.  Some brush me off with a less than half hearted response and then no longer reply when I kindly continue to pursue their assistance.  Others have cast their negative views on my walk, missing the whole point along the way.

I’ve always done my best to quickly shake my head free of the hurt and push forward, but honestly at times it’s been tough.

So when I received Adam’s email, I spent a good period of time at Thanksgiving dinner working on making his dream come true.

Because I knew I could!

“I would love to!”

Between the love filled food and family stories at Thanksgiving dinner, I sent Eric Griffin a message telling him that I had just received the coolest email from a young man that was a big fan of his.  I went on with how it would be amazing if it turns out that Adam is local to set something up so that he could meet him!

It took Eric less than a minute to reply with, “I would love to!”

I told him great and then forwarded him Adam’s email so that he could read it for himself.

Adam’s Dream Comes True

Less than 24 hours from Adam’s initial email to me I received another email from him:

Hello Kenny,

Thank you so much! I got email from Eric! WOW!!!!! Best present I got in a long time! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Eric asked about coming to his game and my mom says maybe later in season. WOW!!! I am trying to do interview with Eric for school cuz I have homework to interview someone who works in the job I want when I grow up. Thank you Kenny. I hope you play Michael Jordan!


Adam Thompson

Dreams Do Come True!

So I’m going into the 16th month of and while my dream of playing MJ still hasn’t come true, it’s the best feeling in the world to play a part in helping someone else’s dream come true!

I’d like to give HUGE SHOUT OUT and THANKS to my man Eric Griffin (@The21Story) for being so kind and willing to take the time to impact someone’s life in such an amazing way!

Adam closed his email to me fittingly, filled with hope.  I too hope I get to play Michael Jordan one day soon, but until then, helping Adam is just fine with me!

me vs. MJ…the dream filled journey continues!  As always, thank you for following along!

Connect:  Twitter (@KennyEller) and Facebook Fan Page.


More on Eric Griffin

Eric Griffin

Through the first six games (5-1) of the season, Eric Griffin leads the Fighting Camels of Campbell University in almost every category, averaging 21.1 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks, while shooting a staggering 74% from the field and 60% from three point land.

On top of all of that, he can now add something even more important to his statistics, making one dream come true!  A class act for sure!

We all have the ability to impact others in a way that could very well change the course of how they approach life!  On this day, the dreamer who took action in the form of an email wins!  Eric and I have won as well!  Go get your dreams!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin November 30, 2011 at 8:36 am

That is probably the best post I have ever read on here. I was emotionally moved to tears of Joy. It is amazing how your quest and who you are as a person can touch so many. I love seeing the joy of God move through you and into others. Its refreshing to see humans working together for a common good and the results that can come from it. Much Love to you, mevsmj, Eric Griffin, young Adam and everyone else.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm


I got your comment right after you submitted it and it has made my day! Thank you for your kind words and for you constant encouragement and support! Thank you for being a strong man of God when I’ve called you about some of those brush offs and really since the day I met you. As you know I do think this is a GOD thing. I never understand the walk, but when the reason is revealed, it’s a beautiful canvas HE has painted. This whole journey has been like that for me. Missed free throws led me to coach sutton, which led me to Eric, which led Adam to this site. My injury devastated me last year, but that led me to you and through you others that have enriched my life for the better!

Sometimes we underestimate the impact we can have on someone with just a very small amount of effort on our part. I’m glad you chose to leave a comment today, because it is an example of that and has had a great impact on me! Keep being you man…I’m very thankful for your friendship!

Much love my brother!


Kellie Kowalski December 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Kenny, this post brought a big smile to my face. Your journey is inspiring to so many, and I love how you’ve made an impact in connecting these two!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller December 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Thank you so much Kellie! 😀 It was the least I could do! Adam’s request was just like mine!

Thanks for your support! Appreciate you!


Rohb Jennings December 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

I hadn’t seen this post Kenny, guess I haven’t been on your site in a few weeks, but as usual you are impacting lives in a positive manner as did Eric! Hopeto read more about Eric everywhere and can’t wait to see something from young Adam in the near future. Another GREAT DAY to you my man!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller December 6, 2011 at 5:44 am

Thanks Rohb! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Appreciate you man!


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