ORLANDO, Fla. — Antone Exum won't forget those smiles any time soon.
He has the picture to remind him of that time when he gave three random strangers a special Christmas gift. Three boys from the Bahamas who happened to be in a Best Buy in Orlando were the recipients of Exum's generosity Monday night. He offered to buy them anything in the store.
For Exum, a redshirt junior cornerback from Virginia Tech who is in town for this week's Russell Athletic Bowl, it was an easy choice to make.
"I think I was blessed to have a lot of fortunate Christmases when I was a kid, so I hope that every little kid deserves to have a perfect Christmas," said Exum, a Richmond-area native, recalling his spree before his team took to the practice field at the Citrus Bowl stadium.
Exum and his teammates were in Best Buy on a shopping spree provided by the bowl. Each player was given a $470 gift card to spend. And while many of them bought
"I had my cart with my stuff in it, and I saw them walking and I was already thinking about it, so I put my stuff back and I was looking for these kids," said Exum, who said he saw the children earlier in the visit. "They were playing on the PS3 (display). That's actually what the littlest one ended up getting. I think that's what he wanted for Christmas."
It's not every day when someone offers to buy you just about anything in the store. As you can imagine, the two brothers and a cousin were a bit skeptical at first.
"They asked me like three times, 'So, we get anything that we want?' I said, 'Yeah, I got this money and I want you to go shopping and get what you want,'" Exum said.
The boys didn't appear to be football fans, leaving Exum to "… explain to them that I was here for a bowl game and this was our bowl gift."
The boys bought a
Before they parted ways, Exum took a picture of the four of them and posted it on
"I just took the picture with the kids so I could remember them, and when I put it on there (Twitter), I started seeing people retweet it and then (teammate) J.C. (Coleman) texted me and said, 'You are about to blow up,' and I was like 'Why?' and he said everybody's talking about this."
Exum's tweet, along with his deeds, were all over social media, including a post on the popular blog Deadspin. Fans began sending comments to him on Twitter, and while he tried to answer each and every one back, he hit the limit for tweets in an hour.
"I was proud of him. It made someone else's Christmas better and I think he felt good about it," said Virginia Tech coach
The gesture made for a special Christmas.