January 08, 2012

Making a Memorable Thunder Game Even More Memorable

Twice this weekend I was able to sit courtside at a Thunder game -- Friday night with nine-year-old Jack Henry and then tonight with my uncle Bill. What I loved the most was the way people went out of their way Friday night to make the experience memorable for Jack Henry. Two examples come to mind.

James Harden
I'm thinking that 22-year-old Thunder guard James Harden remembers what it's like to be a kid, since it wasn't all that long ago that he was one. Actually, you could tell by the way he was horsing around with Eric Maynor in the pregame shootaround Friday night that he's still a kid at heart.

Jack Henry and I were in our seats watching the players warm up, and Harden came over and playfully threw Jack Henry a bounce pass. Jack Henry threw it back to him. Harden turned again toward the basket as if to resume shooting, and then (without looking) threw Jack Henry another bounce pass -- almost as if to see if the boy was still paying attention. It was -- how to put this? -- very cool. Heck, it was very cool for me, and of course it was off the charts for a starstruck nine-year-old. Then a few minutes later came the multisensory extravaganza known as player introductions. The music was blaring, spotlights were jumping around, flames were shooting up, players were dancing around and high-fiving each other. In the middle of all this mayhem, Harden came over to Jack Henry again and gave him a high-five (actually, it was more of a low-five).

Consider me a James Harden fan.

I'm also a fan of Kevin Durant's mother (Wanda Pratt) and grandmother (Barbara Davis), who did something nice for Jack Henry. After player introductions Durant always comes over to kiss his mom and acknowledge his other family members and friends. As you can see from these photos I was able to snap tonight, Bill's seats are right next to Team Durant.

Friday night during a timeout, Thunder employees where throwing frisbees into the crowd. Each frisbee entitled its owner to a free pizza. It was loud in the arena, of course, as lots of fans were clamoring for a free pizza. One of the guys flinging the frisbees was on the court right in front of us, and Durant's mother and grandmother were waving their arms and shouting at him, pointing to Jack Henry. Their efforts were successful, and Jack Henry got the frisbee.

So thanks to KD's mom and grandma for their kindness to Jack Henry -- all without even knowing what a big KD fan he is:

UPDATE: Thanks to James Harden for the retweet, and to all the new readers for visiting the site.

1 comment:

  1. I am a huge Thunder fan! I love guys like Durant and Harden who love the game and show they have fun playing it. I also love how they reach out to their fans and show support of them. They defiantly live life with a humility that most pro sports players know nothing about! Super cool you guys got to experience this!


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