EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As an East Providence teenager recovers at the hospital after he was stabbed by another student at the city’s high school, his family and friends were looking for a way to cheer him up.
A family friend, Mason Santos, is a behavioral specialist at the school, as well as a DJ for the Providence College men’s basketball team. When he heard what happened, he immediately wanted to help and came up with a last-minute surprise for the 16-year-old Friars fan.
“I just knew he needed an uplift, and the best thing to do was call PC, call Coach English,” Santos said.
The teen is being treated for serious injuries from last week’s stabbing. Santos told 12 news that PC coach Kim English and players Devin Carter, Cory Floyd and Davonte Gaines paid him a visit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“I said, ‘I’ve got some friends here that want to see you,'” Santos said. “He just mouth-dropped, eyes wide open, couldn’t say anything, and all of a sudden he was energized, sat up, shook their hands and full of exuberance.”
When Davonte “Ticket” Gaines and his teammates got the request from their coach, he said he didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“Just to see the smile on his face when we walked in was enough for me,” Gaines recalled.
The Friars gave the victim PC merchandise and a signed basketball, and since he’s also a player, they bonded over their love for the game.
“[It] speaks volume to the sport and how it can bring people together,” Gaines added.
Santos said it was important to lift the boy’s spirits during a dark time for him.
“He just needed to feel like there were people behind him that love him,” he explained. “And he loves basketball, so who better than Providence College and a level that he’s trying to attain?”
Santos said the last time he spoke to the victim’s family, he was told the boy is doing well and on the road to recovery.