No one roots harder for Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Matthew Dellavedova than Jackson High School senior Jackie Custer. Dellavedova was her prom escort in March to A Prom to Remember, after all.
Several Cavs and Cleveland Browns players acted as escorts at A Prom to Remember, a spectacular prom experience put together at the Ritz Carlton for teens throughout the region who are fighting cancer.
With a whole cadre of celebrities to choose from, including Cavs power forward Anderson Varejao and Browns wide receiver Brian Hartline, Custer chose Dellavedova to be her sidekick.
“I picked him partly because I didn’t think anyone else was picking him. At that time, he wasn’t very well known,” said Custer. “When we were riding on the elevator at the Ritz, I told him I was a point guard, too, and he was really excited that we both play the same position. He is such a nice guy.”
A friendship was born and numerous tweets between the Cavs superstar and Custer have been sent.
The relationship provides a bright spot for Custer as she fights acute lymphoblastic leukemia and tries to recover from a stroke she experienced as a side effect to chemotherapy in July of 2014.
“My family bought tickets to a Bulls vs. Cavs game on Easter Sunday, and I tweeted to him that I was going to be there cheering him on,” said Custer. “I had an extra picture of us together at the prom that I wanted to give him.”
Dellavedova made arrangements to meet with Custer after the game.
“When I gave him the picture, he said he loved it and would put it on his fridge. He said, ‘I don’t care what my girlfriend says,'” beamed Custer. “And I gave him one of my bracelets that says ‘Custer kills Cancer’ and he put it on right away.”
Little did Custer know that Dellevedova had a gift for her as well.
“He handed me a Cavs bag and inside was a signed jersey,” said Jackie. “And he promised to get us tickets to some of the playoff games.”
Dellevedova made true on his promise and Custer’s family has enjoyed 2 playoff games: one against the Chicago Bulls and one against the Atlanta Hawks.
She said it was super fun checking out all the VIPs in the players’ special loge for friends and family. Custer also appreciates her friendship with Dellevedova and loves to watch him play on the court.
“I think the playoffs are so exciting, and it has been fun to see him rise to the top,” said Custer. “The way he fights to win these games inspires me to keep fighting.”
Even the Jackson High School Girls’ Basketball Team has become Delly fans, Custer said. Watch out fellow Federal League teams. The Bears are currently working on a new play they call the “Delly.”
See more of Matthew Dellavedova escorting Jackie at the 3-minute mark in the video below