Virtual Crowd at NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game Was Made Up of Make-A-Wish Recipients

Thirty children battling various health issues were chosen to participate as virtual fans at the Eastern Conference Finals game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat on ESPN this week.

The children were treated to the experience as a part of the Make-A-Wish program on Wednesday. Not only that, but the group was joined by basketball legend Muggsy Bogues — who, at 5-feet, 3-inches tall, was the shortest player to ever be in the NBA (he's also recognizable from the beloved movie, Space Jam).

The special evening fell into place thanks to a 16-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient named Karina, who is battling lymphoma, and is the 500,000th kid in the program.

Karina's wish was “to give children a day to forget they’re sick," and helped to put on an entire day filled with activities for children in hospitals.

"Those good feelings I got going through treatment for cancer are hard to find when facing this kind of battle, but although they were few, the moments that I did have whether it was through music, art, dancing, talking to a friend were priceless," said Karina in a statement from the organization.

The fun-filled day ended with the kids (virtually) attending the game — which took place in Orlando, Florida — with Bogues.

"Having the opportunity to give that feeling to other kids who are going through the same thing is amazing," Karina said. "I couldn't think of a better wish and I am hoping that Kamp Karina provides them peace and joy. Truly, happiness is the best medicine."

Make-A-Wish commemorated the wish with a post on Instagram on Thursday night.

"Since 1980, Disney and Make-A-Wish have granted more than 140,000 wishes to wish kids around the world," they said. "Together, we will continue to be dedicated to making life-changing wishes possible, creating new memories that will last a lifetime!"

On Wednesday, the Heat gained a 3-1 lead over the Celtics, and are now just one win away from securing a trip to the NBA Finals. If they succeed, it will be the club's first Finals appearance since LeBron James and Dwyane Wade lost to the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, after winning two straight titles.

James, though, is still in the running for a Finals appearance this year. His Los Angeles Lakers are currently taking on the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers have a 2-1 lead over the Nuggets and will face them in Game 4 on Thursday night.

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