Dirk visits children’s hospital for one-on-one

He’s a bit tall to play Santa, but Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki made the holidays extra special for one patient at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Wearing a surgical mask, gown and gloves, “Santa Dirk” walked into the room of young Will Kolassa and presented him with an iPod.

Kolassa was polite but shy in accepting the gift, captured in a video posted on YouTube, but warmed up quickly when Nowitzki offered another kind of present.

“Let’s get a little hoops game going on,” Nowitzki said, moving over to the mini-basketball hoop hanging on a door in Kolassa’s room.

“OK,” said Kolassa, who then looked up at the seven-foot NBA All-Star in front of him and gasped. “Oh gosh.”

Before they started, Nowitzki tried to convince Kolassa, from Chicago, to become a Mavs fan.

“I heard you’re a Chicago Bulls fan,” Nowitzki said. “Can we change that?”

Kolassa wouldn’t budge from his loyalty to the Bulls, but did offer something to keep Nowitzki from being disappointed.

“I do like them a little bit,” He said. “I like it when you beat the Heat. I hate the Heat.”
Nowitzki’s smile was obvious even under the surgical mask as he gave Kolassa a fist bump.

“Yeah,” Nowitzki said. “So do I.”

Then Nowitzki got in a defensive stance and issued a challenge: “Now try to score on me.”
Kolassa confidently swished a shot over Nowitzki.

Then Nowitzki took the mini basketball and Kolassa suddenly realized he had to guard the seven-footer.

“Oh gosh!”

Nowitzki and the boy weren’t just playing for the camera. At one point Kolassa had the the ball and Nowitzki said, “Hey! That’s an offensive foul.”

Kolassa’s quick reply: “So what? You’re moving.”

The video ends with Kolassa talking to the camera and delivering a message, presumably to his teammates back in Chicago.

“Hey guys, sorry I couldn’t be at practice,” Kolassa said. “I had other things to do with my other friend.”

The camera then pans to Nowitzki, who dunks the ball through the mini-hoop.

Top that, Santa.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire