Buffalo Bills cornerback Shareece Wright found himself in a bind on Sunday night. He badly wanted to attend the team’s voluntary workouts — which began Monday — but was stuck at Chicago O’Hare airport with no flights available. And so to solve the problem, Wright whipped out his smartphone, opened his Uber app and called a car.
Looking at his phone on the other end of the ride-sharing app was 26-year-old Hadi Abdollahian. Having just dropped off someone nearby in his Nissan Altima, Abdollahian thought it made sense to pick someone up from the airport. If only the Uber app for drivers display where riders wanted to go …
Abdollahian wouldn’t find out what he actually signed up for until he spoke to Wright, who called him as he made his way to the airport.
“He told me Buffalo and I thought he meant Buffalo [Wild Wings] grill,” Abdollahian told The Post. “So I said, ‘Yeah, for sure.’ ”
Once Wright was settled into the back seat of his car and he punched the destination address into his GPS, Abdollahian, who came to the United States four years ago as a refugee from Turkey, finally found out the Bills veteran meant New York.
Abdollahian said he was surprised to learn the actual destination, but that he never thought twice about taking Wright.
“I promised him on the phone,” reasoned Abdollahian, “so I said, ‘let’s hit the road.’ ”
Wright and Abdollahian would go on to spend the next eight hours together driving along Interstate 90, passing by South Bend, Ind., Cleveland, and Erie, Pa., on the way to Buffalo. According to a screen capture Wright posted of his trip to Twitter on Tuesday, the pair left from O’Hare at 10:59 p.m. ET. Abdollahian confirmed that after only making one stop to refuel, they arrived at the Bills practice facility in Orchard Park, N.Y. before 7 a.m. on Monday.
The base fare for the trip was $632.08, according to Wright’s screen shot, but the 29-year-old player spent around $930 after tipping Abdollahian an extra $300, NFL agent Tameret Berhe said on Twitter.
The hefty tip likely came thanks to the pair becoming friends along the way. While Abdollahian, who considers himself a casual sports fan, said he didn’t recognize Wright when he picked him up on Sunday, by the end of their road trip, the Chicago Bears fan said he’ll now be cheering for the Bills, as well.
“He introduced himself and said he was a football player,” Abdollahian said, noting that while he tried to let Wright get some rest, the conversation continued on-and-off throughout the night. Abdollahian added the majority of the conversation had a more personal slant, too.
“He starts talking about his family and kids,” Abdollahian said. “He was really an amazing guy.”
Abdollahian said Wright also inquired about his life, including his past, which saw Abdollahian relocate to Chicago from a war-torn region of Turkey four years ago under a United Nations refugee program.
“I loved his company,” added Abdollahian, who hopes to study computer science this fall at Loyola University. “We had a great time.”
And the feeling was apparently mutual. Not only did Wright rate Abdollahian five stars on Uber, but the two have remained in contact.
“He called me today,” Abdollahian said, adding that he was surprised to hear from Wright again. Abdollahian, who drove straight back to Chicago after dropping Wright off on Monday, said he “didn’t want to be that guy who asked him for picture,” so he remained professional as the two parted ways and figured that would be it.
Wright, however, wanted to let Abdollahian know he posted about the trip on social media, which led to their follow-up chat on Wednesday.
“We were talking about social media and stuff,” Abdollahian said. “We didn’t have time to talk about the future but I’m pretty sure we’ll meet up.”
Abdollahian said he also fielded a call from an Uber representative, who wanted to know the full story. Abdollahian described the phone call as pleasant, but when asked whether Uber might throw a bonus his way for clearly going above and beyond what most drivers might do, Abdollahian said nothing was offered. (Uber did not return The Post’s request to comment).
Meanwhile, BlueRock Energy, a Buffalo Bills sponsor, has offered to match the $932.08 fare Wright paid to Abdollahian to thank him for his service.
Abdollahian gratefully accepted the cash, but said money has not been his greatest reward.
“Honestly, I’m more excited … because of Mr. Wright,” he said. “I’m his friend just for taking him to New York. This is more than enough for me.”