Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, March 31, 2014

Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers play at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. One might ask what that has to do with the Big Ten, and he or she would be right. Thanks to Paul, though, there's an important Iowa angle to the event.

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You see, Patrick McCaffery, the 14-year-old son of Fran McCaffery who recently had surgery to remove a thyroid tumor, is a big Paul fan. Three weeks after Patrick and family learned the tumor was malignant, the NBA superstar and Clippers hosted the McCafferys before Monday's game.

?When he found out today that he was going to shootaround, he hasn?t smiled like that in a month," Fran McCaffery told "I just can?t thank Doc (Rivers) and Chris and the Clippers enough."

[ MORE: Dienhart: Fran McCaffery news hits us all hard ]

Paul laid the foundation for such a meeting with this tweet and his phone calls to Patrick before AND after his surgery.

It sure sounds like this is exactly what Patrick needed to raise his spirits.

There's this from Fran, courtesy

"To see him smile like this? He?s got another surgery coming up, that?s because subsequent to his last surgery it was determined that his tumor was malignant. So, that changed everything. He?s got further surgery coming and another scan to determine if radioactive iodine is necessary.

?When you have a son, that?s a phone call that you never expect: malignant tumor. He?s in seventh grade. You don?t expect to get that phone call. When people respond with this type of kindness, it means a lot. It means a lot to our family."

Thank you, Chris Paul!

About Brent Yarina senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.