CHANDLER, Ariz. — Kobe Bryant merchandise is selling out everywhere. Nike's Kobe shoes are going for hundreds of dollars online.
But instead of making a profit, Kurth Hentges turned to Facebook to give his away. The only requirement: They had to go to "A true Kobe fan."
That's where 18-year-old Devin Roberts comes in.
Devin has been a lifelong Kobe fan. He lives and breathes basketball, but what made him stand out to Kurth was a rap Devin did more than 10 years ago.
"The thing that did it for me was his little rap. He did a Kobe rap when he was 8 years old and I’m like, 'That’s a true fan,'" said Kurth.
Devin has also had some personal challenges.
"Devin's adopted from foster care. He has autism and some other diagnoses. Every day has been a battle for him," said Paige Roberts, his mom.
Paige said Devin has high functioning autism and doesn't show emotion very often. So, when he called her nearly in tears on Sunday after finding out about Kobe's death, it meant something.
"[The shoes] have been sitting [in my closet] and I’m like, 'I want somebody to use these that is a Kobe fan, a true fan that losing Kobe is affecting their life,'" said Kurth.
So choosing Devin was an obvious choice for Kurth.
Kurth met Paige and Devin at a park Friday afternoon to surprise Devin with the shoes. The look on Devin's face was priceless.
"Just to see his smile is very important to me because a lot of times his emotions are all over the place it’s hard for him to regulate," Paige said.
Devin put the shoes on right away and started making baskets.
"I'm overwhelmed if I’m being honest. Something so small means so much. It’s just him– it just really makes me feel good," said Kurth.
Kurth gave a second pair of shoes to Kobe Macias. Kurth said his third and final pair of shoes went to an athlete in the hospital who is battling leukemia.