Principal, NBA greats help grieving first-grader triumph over tragedy

Knowing that he’d just lost his mom and was going to have to move away from his buddies at 186th Street Elementary School, Principal Marcia Sidney Reed was determined to give first-grader Marcos Moschino the best day of his life.

She reached out to a long-time friend, Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee, and arranged for the youngster to attend his first-ever NBA game and to meet his idol, point guard Stephen Curry.

The morning after watching the Warriors defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, 133-120 at Staples Center, Marcos burst into school, grinning from ear to ear, and shouting “I got to give Steph Curry a high-five!” to everyone within earshot.

“He was just so happy,” Reed recalled on Friday. “After everything that he was going through, I wanted to give him a wonderful day to remember.”

Reed knew what the opportunity to meet Curry would mean to the bright-eyed student, who owns a 6-foot-3, life-size cutout of the long-range shooter, and who is nicknamed “Baby Steph” for his own prowess on the basketball court.

After the game, Marcos, and his father, Ernest, met Curry, McGee, Warriors forward Kevin Durant and the team’s head coach, Steve Kerr.

“So honored to help Little Marcos through the sadness of suddenly losing his mom,” McGee wrote on his Instagram page. “He had a night to remember.”

Following the unexpected death of his mother, Marcos recently moved with his dad to Crestview, Fla. Reed, named this year as a National Distinguished Principal, along with Marcos’ teachers and classmates gave him a big send-off, presenting him with a stuffed owl – the school’s mascot – as a memento.

Reed said Marcos is now thriving in his new school, and his buddies there are becoming pen pals with his former classmates at 186th Street.

“He will be an Owl forever in our hearts,” Reed said. “Oh, how we love this kid!”


David Strickland wrote this for LAUSD Daily.