PITTSBURGH — The Steelers third preseason game saw over 45,000 fans pack into Heinz Field. While that’s not to full capacity, Ben Roethlisberger made it known he was thrilled to be playing in front of a large crowd again. And even though he was happy to see all of the Steelers fans in attendance, there was one group that likely made the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer extra happy to see.
Members of the Freeport High School football team were in the stands wearing their new jerseys, jerseys purchased by Roethlisberger to complete a “Make a Wish” request from Garrett King, the team’s quarterback whose biggest win came when he defeated cancer.
@steelers @_BigBen7 purchased new uniforms for @FreeportAreaHS @FASD_Athletics@TheFHShive football program recently. They were sporting their new gear v. Detroit tonight at Hienz Field. @PghSteelersNow @wpialsportsnews @wpial @SteelersYouthFB @AJWPIAL @WPIAL_Blitz #WPIAL #NFL pic.twitter.com/UyzdTBqdab
— Ed Thompson (@ThompsonFoto12) August 22, 2021
Roethlisberger surprised the team by delivering the uniforms to them in person a couple weeks ago. He then offered glowing words about King and his decision to use his wish on the entire team, not just himself.
“Most people when they make a wish they get to wish for pretty much anything, and they always think about themselves,” Roethlisberger said. “The fact that he thought about y’all first, I think that speaks volumes about your leader, your quarterback. I couldn’t be more proud of you and what you’re going through in terms of being a leader for this group. And guys, I hope you realize what you have in terms of a leader and a quarterback here.”
Roethlisberger also gifted King a copy of Phil Knight’s memoir “Shoe Dog” and a pair of shoes signed by the Nike founder. Not only did King request the new uniforms for his team, but he also assisted Nike in designing them.