Over 1,400 feet above the streets of Manhattan a great quest unfolds. Thor and his teammates the Avengers have come together to find a sacred object in the greatest skyscraper in the world, the Empire State Building.
But, this Thor does not answer to Odinson or Jane Foster or even Beta Ray Bill. This Thor stands at seven feet tall and wears number 8 for the New York Knicks. You may know him as Robin Lopez, the Knicks’ center and newest sensation.
The Avengers that support him might also surprise fans. Tony Stark, Natasha Romanov, and Steve Rogers cannot be spotted amongst them. Nonetheless, these individuals, children associated with the Gardens of Dreams Foundation, stand every bit the heroes as their four-color analogues.
Together, this team descended upon the Empire State Building to find the missing game ball for tonight’s home opener against the Atlanta Hawks. Without it, the Big Apple would be forced to endure a season devoid of the stirring shots, herculean hustle, and dogged defense from the New York Knicks.
The Garden of Dreams Foundation organizes over 500 events a year like these since 2006 to honor and aid children facing down obstacles across the New York area. At last count, they had touched over 275,000 families with their generosity and creativity. They also help through scholarships and community based projects whose effects can be felt immediately and in the years to come.
Whether or not the Avengers achieved their quest will remain a surprise for tonight, but it goes without saying that the event delighted all. Besides helping the talented center on the hunt, Earth’s true mightiest heroes posed for pictures with Lopez, listened to him read and discuss one of his favorite comics—of which they each received a copy—and surprised the superstar with a gift: a personalized comic book of his own.
There can be no doubt. Tonight when the Thunder God turned basketball player takes the court, he will do so with the cheers and support of a cadre of Scarlet Witches, Hawkeyes, and Falcons behind him.