Middle school student gives Air Jordans to bullied classmate

Stories about high-end sneakers don’t usually have sweet or happy endings. That is what makes this one about a Houston sixth grader, Joel Rodriguez. and an eighth grader, Amien Emamalikhani. all the more rewarding.

Rodriguez was being bullied at Clear Lake Intermediate, reported ABC13.com.

Emamalikhani witnessed the acts and decided to step in despite never having spoke to Rodriguez.

“People were making fun of me,” said Rodriguez, who never has had a pair expensive shoes, which was the reported source of the bullying.

And then (via ABC13):

“I just wanted to step up for him so I went up to him and showed him a picture of the shoes that I had,” Amien explained. “I asked him, ‘do you like these shoes?’ I told him, ‘I got you tomorrow.'”

“I thought he was lying but he actually brought them for real,” Joel said.

The shoe in question is an Air Jordan 11 “72-10,” a Dec. 2015 release commemorating the Chicago Bulls’ historic 1995-96 season. Youth sizes originally retailed for $179, with new pairs available now on eBay for more than retail at $199.

As ABC reports, Amien had only worn the shoes a few times before he outgrew them — a tale any parent knows all too well — and he saw a way to brighten someone’s day.

Per ABC13:

“I felt real happy. Someone said they wanted to trade them but I didn’t want to because he’s my friend,” Joel said.

“He’s popular now, I guess you could say. … I even told him to remember this day for the rest of your life,” Amien said. “No matter how many bad people there are, there are always people that will help you in the long run.”

Thanks for the reminder, Amien.