I heard this story in the wee hours this morning via ABC’s World News Now. Apparently it also aired on yesterday’s Good Morning America and World News with Charles Gibson:
The boy’s name is Ryan Rodriguez and, reportedly diagnosed with selective mutism, he had never spoken more than a word or two until he saw an Orlando Magic game on TV, so his father Izzy Rodriguez shelled out $641 for Magic tickets rather than pay the mortgage:
“When we get there, he says, ‘Me, play basketball, here?'” Rodriguez said. “So I look down and dropped to my knees and said ‘What did you say?’ He said, ‘Me play basketball here?’ I said, Yeah.”
Hearing about this, the Orlando Magic gave the family tickets through the playoffs.
Hint to ABC News: This would be the kind of story that should include an embeddable video so we can see and hear to boy talking, which sounded adorable over the air. There is a video report along with the story at WFTV.com. It shows dad Izzy Rodriguez talking, but not his son Ryan, which seems like an oversight.
ABC’s TV version also included a funny kicker: Ryan now talks so much at home that his parents have already told him to be quiet.