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Pistons player, Boston native Bruce Brown Jr. surprises Wakefield METCO students with shopping spree

Detroit Pistons guard Bruce Brown (left) defends Washington Wizards guard Troy Brown Jr. in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Bruce Brown Jr., a Detroit Pistons player and Boston native, surprised Wakefield high school students in the METCO program Thursday night with a Nike shopping spree.

Brown, 23, shocked about 15 Wakefield Memorial High School students at a Nike store. The Pistons player, in town to do battle with the Boston Celtics Friday night, attended the school through the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity program. METCO is a voluntary program that enrolls Boston students in suburban public schools.

“I went to Wakefield for two years. I was in the METCO program. I know the struggle y’all go through — waking up early, on the bus, going out to Wakefield, late bus. If y’all in athletics, I know you’re taking the train back home. So I’m giving y’all $200 each, Nike card. Get whatever y’all want,” Brown told the students in a video the Wakefield METCO program posted on Facebook.


The students, who were sitting on a staircase in the store, clapped and thanked Brown in the video. One student covered her mouth in astonishment.

Another video showed the shooting guard handing orange gift card boxes to the excited students.

“Thank You Bruce Brown our fellow METCO Wakefield student. The kids really enjoyed and appreciate the experience,” the program wrote on Facebook.

A picture taken after the event showed Brown posing with the students, who were carrying bags of Nike gear.

Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at alyssa.lukpat@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat.