There’s a saying that family comes first in the Hoosier Nation. Now, a heartwarming story from Indiana has emerged on social media, which further reinforces this saying. Indiana University basketball player Anthony Leal has captured the hearts of netizens with his thoughtful Christmas gift to his sister Lauren Leal. Anthony used his own earnings to pay off his beloved sister’s student loan debt. Anthony posted his touching gesture on Twitter. He also shared the video of when his sister learned about his Christmas present. In the video, Lauren can be seen opening a card from her brother.
In the card to Lauren, Anthony wrote a touching note which is captured in the video: “Hey sis, I wanted to let you know how much I admire you and who you are. Your soul is beautiful and you are the best role model ever. There is no doubt that I got to where I am today thanks to you. Someone like you deserves no burdens or restrictions in life, and I think the best way to help you is to pay off your student loan.
While sharing the touching video, Anthony tweeted, “Some people have negative views on NIL. But without her, things like this would not be possible…”
Her tweet took the internet by storm with more than 2 million views on the microblogging site. Several Twitter users appreciated Anthony for putting his family’s needs before his own.
One user wrote: “This is amazing! Well done, kid! As I said in Vegas, ‘You are a great Indiana basketball ambassador!’
Another user tweeted, “Such a kind and loving gesture. May God bless you and your family this holiday season. Merry Christmas, ant!
Such a kind and loving gesture. May God bless you and your family this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Ant!— Jayson Clingenpeel (10-3, 🔴⚪️) (@JayClingenpeel5) December 25, 2022
One replied to Anthony’s tweet expressing her gratitude. She then described her emotions when she received her gift.
Never in my life have I felt such shock. I was so stunned and absolutely speechless before my tears flowed. Saying “thank you” will never be enough! Merry Christmas✝️ https://t.co/4nTssc2KQ3– Lauren Leal (@leallauren3) December 25, 2022
Anthony, a former Indiana Mr. Basketball, grew up in Bloomington and played high school ball in Bloomington South. He is in his third year in the Indiana basketball program. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) approved Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation last year and athletes like Anthony have been able to earn money from their image.
Read all the latest from Buzz here