Home | Sports | NBA star Luka Doncic reaches out to cancer-stricken Joey Tromba of Painesville with assist from sister
The Mavericks' Luka Doncic drives past Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook on Dec. 30.

NBA star Luka Doncic reaches out to cancer-stricken Joey Tromba of Painesville with assist from sister

The power of social media, and, more important, the power of people can accomplish exceptional things. Sophia Tromba is a perfect example.

The sister of cancer-stricken Joey Tromba, an Otterbein wrestler and Painesville Township native, took to Twitter on Jan. 16 to help her brother fulfill a dream.

A day later, it appears that dream will be become a reality for Joey in early February.

Joey was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments at Cleveland Clinic. His career as a college wrestler is likely over, and he will miss the spring semester at Otterbein, where he is majoring in engineering.

The Tromba family is Slovenian, as is Luka Doncic, a rising star with the Dallas Mavericks. Joey is a huge fan of Doncic. 

To help boost her brother’s spirits, Sophia went to Twitter and posted a tweet that she hoped would catch the attention of Doncic, who will be playing the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 2.

The tweet read: “Dear friends and fellow Slovenians, please help to make my brother @Joey_Tromba’s wish come true! Spread the word!!! Tag @luka7doncic and RETWEET! Lets do it for Joey #trombastrong”

The tweet caught on, especially when Doncic himself responded with the message, “For sure!!! You can count on it!!! #trombastrong”

Back at the Cleveland Clinic on Jan. 17, Joey had some action unfold on his Twitter account. Doncic followed Joey on Twitter, and sent him a direct message. According to Joey it read: “I’ll meet you in Cleveland for sure. Whatever you need. I got a jersey for you. Praying for you my man.”

Needless to say, Sophia was thrilled when news Doncic contacted her brother directly. When she sent the tweet, she hoped but never imagined it would lead to that. 

“People from Slovenia were retweeting it,” said Sophia, a VASJ graduate who’s a freshman at Kent State. “We’ve had so much love and support, I thought it was worth a shot. Then when I got the notification about Luka I started screaming.”

Sophia said the Jan. 17 interaction between Joey and Doncic was a nice distraction from her brother’s diagnosis. 

“To find this out has been really shocking,” said Sophia. “My family is so close and we have such a great faith and Joey’s attitude is phenomenal.”

Sophia said her entire family — which includes parents Joe and Julie, and brothers Michael, Dominic and Vince — were already looking forward to the Feb. 2 game vs. the Mavericks at The Q. Her father bought tickets to the game for the family months ago. 

The involvement from Doncic, a 6-foot-7 forward who’s 19 years old, makes the countdown that much more exciting. Doncic is averaging 20.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists, and is a candidate to start the NBA All-Star Game.

“It’s incredible. I really had no clue this could happen,” said Joey. “I’m not sure if I’ll still be in the hospital then so we’ll see what happens. It’s gonna be sweet.”

Source: https://www.news-herald.com | By Mark Podolski mpodolski@news-herald.com @mpodo on Twitter


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