This is a reprint from Waren Peper's weekend Post & Courier article about alumnus Khris Middleton '09, his sister Brittney, and their 12 Days of Khristmas Campaign.
Khris established the Khris Middleton scholarship program at Porter-Gaud. Brittney is a member of the Porter-Gaud Foundation Board.
Photo credit: Khris Middleton and others shop during the 12 Days of Khrismas project. ZinHD Film/Provided
December 11, 2021 -- Not every little brother has a big sister to keep him squared away. Not every big sister has a little brother who is 6’7” and an NBA All-Star, either. Khris Middleton and Brittney Middleton-Ogike, though, have become a formidable team since he became a professional basketball player and she was hired to handle his activities off the court.
The siblings grew up in North Charleston. Brittney attended Fort Dorchester High; Khris found his way to Porter-Gaud. Their parents both worked. The father was a checker at the ports; the mom, an administrator at The Citadel. Along the way, something about giving back was instilled into the Middleton children. “They raised us that way,” said Brittney, who now lives and works in Los Angeles.
After Khris graduated from Porter-Gaud his best scholarship offer to play college basketball came from Texas A&M. “He really wanted a letter from Clemson, but it never came,” as his big sister remembers. Brittney, meanwhile, attended South Carolina and received a degree in sports management. Her goal was to somehow be connected to sports in some capacity. Working for her little brother was nothing either one of them ever envisioned.
As Khris rose through the ranks of professional basketball, his salary and his profile climbed the ladder, as well. After he was traded to Milwaukee, he continued to become one of the league’s top long-distance shooters. Last year, Middleton and his Bucks won the NBA championship, and he won a gold medal with Team USA at the Olympics.
A few years ago he hired Brittney to coordinate and administrate. “I’m paid to be his big sister,” she laughs. She doesn’t act as his agent in terms of negotiating contracts, but she coordinates the camps and the community efforts that allow Khris to let others know he is thankful for all that he has.
In 2018, Brittney and Khris came up with a service project tied to the holidays. They named it the 12 Days of Khrismas. “He didn’t want to just write checks, he wanted to be involved,” the big sister says.
In early December, he started this year’s effort by handing out coats, hats and gloves to more than 250 students at a Milwaukee elementary school.
In the days ahead, there are plans for a father-son basketball clinic as well as giving less-than-fortunate children gift cards to do some shopping. Khris doesn’t just hand out the cards — he actually will go up and down the aisles helping with the gift selections. Last year, he was heard convincing a child that he wasn’t sure his mother especially needed the toy the child was intending to buy her.
’Tis the season
There’s a scholarship endowed at Porter-Gaud funded by the Middleton family foundation for others who look like Khris. Every summer, Khris holds a basketball camp at his former high school. He didn’t just leave his mark on the school when he was there — he continues to impact it.
In the meantime, Brittney, who is three years older, continues her role as the big sister. When her brother moved to Milwaukee, she found him a place to live and got him settled.
She’s gotten to know a few other NBA players through the years and has come to appreciate that her brother is different than many of them. “He’s not in the streets, like others I know. And I feel like I’ve helped to steer him clear of other bad elements that come with fame and fortune.”
Sisters and brothers often talk about Christmas memories during the holidays. Most of those memories come from those early childhood days.
Brittney and Khris are still making memories with each other through their community efforts. It’s heartwarming to know that those days spent together growing up in North Charleston with caring parents is now on full display thanks to a project known as the 12 Days of Khrismas.
Article by Waren Peper, columnist for the Post & Courier