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Scottie Pippen finds himself in the spotlight again on stage

Scottie Pippen La’Ren Kimble

Scottie Pippen and La’Ren Kimble

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Updated: January 4, 2013 2:20PM

I’ve worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation many times dating back to my playing career, so when I was contacted about being in the Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” with seven-year old La’Ren Kimble, who I like to call my co-star, it was a very easy decision.

Things got started a few weeks ago, when I visited the Goodman Theatre for the first time to get fitted for my costume, but more importantly, to meet La’Ren and her parents, Alicia and Joseph. I have to say, we hit it off immediately. La’Ren was diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome when she was just three weeks old, and she has fought off cancer for most of her life. But for someone who has faced so much adversity, she couldn’t be more upbeat and energetic. La’Ren is beautiful young lady who is truly inspiring. And she was a hit with the cast and crew at the theatre as well.

Going back to that initial meeting at the theatre: With the Bulls’ help, I surprised La’Ren and her family with tickets to join me inside Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf’s suite that night. It was their first time at the United Center and they enjoyed every minute. As I told them, there is no better place to be than a Bulls game with the all of the excitement and entertainment in the building. It was a great day that I hope La’Ren will always remember.

On the night of our performance, I arrived at the theatre about two hours before show time to catch up with La’Ren and her family. The two of us did a few interviews together before making our way backstage to go over our roles. Following a quick rehearsal, we got dressed and took the stage in front of a sold-out crowd. Everyone at the Goodman Theatre did an amazing job and it was great to see the story of Mr. Scrooge and Tiny Tim from a new perspective.

I’ve played on a lot of big stages throughout my playing career, but taking the stage at the Goodman Theatre was a very different experience. And while it was incredibly gratifying to win championships in a city like Chicago, being a part of “A Christmas Carol” with La’Ren is something that had a lot of sentimental value for me.

At the end of the day, it was a great experience that I truly enjoyed. Not only did I have the privilege of getting to know La’Ren, but my wife, Larsa, and my kids, Scotty, Preston, Justin and Sophia, as well as my sister, Sherron, were there as well, and they loved it, too. Thank you to Make-A-Wish Illinois, the Goodman Theatre, and of course, La’Ren, for making my holiday season a little more memorable.

Scottie Pippen donated his fee for writing this column to Make-A-Wish Illinois.

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