MILWAUKEE -- Khris Middleton tallies plenty of assists for the Milwaukee Bucks on the court, but ahead of Christmas, he played Santa.
"It's a little different when I'm here by myself, but it's pretty cool and pretty special," said Middleton. "These are moments you just can't take for granted."
Middleton is used to attention, but as he arrived at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, he was met by applause and children cheering.
"I can't even explain it," said Aki Miller. "I gotta think of words, like mind blown type stuff."
"It's pretty cool," said Middleton. "Coming back to an elementary school, I can't remember the last time I've been in one, but just to see the smiles on these kids' faces and the joy that they have."
This was the first day of the 12 days of Khrismas.
"It's one of my favorite holidays, but also, I wanted to do it here because this place is special to me," said Middleton. "It's been good to me since I've been here. I've made it one of my homes, so I feel like you should give back to your community."
Giving is what he did, partnering with United Healthcare to give the students of Martin Luther King Elementary School brand new winter coats.
12 Days of Khrismas
"I'm gonna be rocking it," said a student. "I'm gonna be rocking that, too. I'm gonna be rocking that all time. I'm gonna be saying, 'Khris Middleton gave me this. This was exclusive from the Bucks.'"
"Giving coats to kids is about keeping them healthy," said Dustin Hinton, CEO of United Healthcare Wisconsin. "If they're not warm, they're not healthy, and our whole goal at United Healthcare is helping people live healthier lives, and that starts with kids.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
"I mean this is what it's all about," said Middleton. "This is how it starts. This is our future -- kids, and the educational staff, and administration. They're the ones that help these kids become leaders, doctors, whatever they wanna be."
On a day when an NBA superstar was welcomed with plenty of hugs and thank yous, Middleton's joy came from the students.
12 Days of Khrismas
"I think it's just putting the coats on," said Middleton. "I mean, it took me years to find a good winter coat, being from the south, so the fact that they have a perfect winter coat for years to come hopefully, to keep them warm coming to school on time every day, like the principal said, that's most important."
It was an important assist from an important all-star.
"You know, the way I was raised, you always give back to your community, no matter what type of situation you're in," said Middleton.
Middleton's "12 Days of Khrismas" included events in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Louisiana.