UPS driver stops to play basketball with 11-year-old boy

BATON ROUGE — In the midst of a busy route with customers awaiting their deliveries, a local UPS driver took a minute for a quick basketball break. That break however, was an experience for a young 11-year-old boy shooting hoops on his own.

UPS driver John Chester with Chase McDowell, 11, on a quick break to play basketball

In a heartwarming display of kindness, the UPS driver stopped his truck in the Shenandoah area to play basketball with an 11-year-old boy named Chase McDowell.

“I was just driving on my route and saw him outside playing by himself and thought, ‘Why not stop and shoot some hoops’,” said the UPS driver John Chester. “We played HORSE together. We had fun in the heat. I just like to bring joy to people and meet new people along my route.”

The two were dribbling and shooting in McDowell’s neighbor’s driveway. The boy’s mother, Shelley FitzSimons, who was in the house cooking and cleaning, was touched by the gesture.  

“I had no idea,” FitzSimons said. “He goes across the street to the neighbors almost every day to play basketball. I didn’t even know that someone had stopped to play with him.”

Chester is a father of three children and a former athlete. He says he’s very family oriented and loves to simply connect with people. “It’s more than just being friendly,” he says. He told UWK he represents a ‘higher Power.’

“I’m also a child of God. So I like to pass the word, you know, the gospel around,” he said.

As a father, Chester says he understands that kids need a positive influence and encourager in their lives. He says that was a game changer in his life.

“I had multiple people like that in my life and that kind of molded me to be the man that I am today. I kind of like to pass that along,” he added.

UPS driver basketball

The UPS driver’s simple act of kindness brought a big smile to Chase’s face. The boy’s mother said that he was so excited to have played but had one big concern.

“He said he was tired from playing at the park earlier so he missed the shots while he was being videoed,” his mother laughed.

The UPS driver’s gesture is a reminder that even small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Plus, in the fast paced world, it’s okay to take a break from time to time!

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