Friday, February 11, 2022

The Day my Son got to Play on an NBA Court

We got to Miami early because I wanted to beat traffic and make allowances for getting lost, which is something I sometimes do. My inner GPS has always been a little broken. Thankfully though, we got there with ample time to spare. This was a big day for the teen, he had been invited to scrimmage on the NBA Miami Heat court. It was a very exciting thing for us, and the anticipation had us amped up for days.

The area around the arena was safe, the weather was pleasant and
 we didn't mind waiting around outside.


When we did get to go inside, we were a little in awe to have the arena to ourselves 
(just the basketball players, coaches, parents, etc.). It did live up to our every expectation.


The first thing to be done before the scrimmages began was to gather everyone together for a photo. Masks were required at all times, unless on the court. Parents were not allowed on the court, or in the expensive courtside seats. There was going to be a game later that night (which we were also invited to), and I'm sure they didn't want to sanitize the seats again with so little time between our event and the actual game.  We later found out that those seats were the only ones permitted to have occupants with no face masks during the official game (a note in the brochure mentioned those people had to have proof of vaccination). So many things have changed in such a short time. So grateful though, that we were able to gather for this event. Just a year ago, it wouldn't have happened, and I was worried up until the day we got there, that they might cancel it.


The kids waited for their age group to be called and when it was they made their way to sideline seats. My son was a little nervous there, but nervous in a good way.


Once the game started, he was all in. If you look in the background you can see that they let the younger kids referee (there were adult referees running the court as well). At one time, there were ten child referees on the court, and you couldn't help but smile a little. The kids were having a blast. They also had a child commentating and they rotated it, giving everyone a chance to do it who wanted one. Again, there was an adult at the commentating table as well, to help out and supervise as needed.


It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I had the big camera around my neck and I was taking pictures, and I had my son's phone running a video the whole time, so he could see himself on the court. I looked around and Paparazzi Parents were everywhere doing the same. Sigh. Yep, those are my people. 💓😆


The age groups were co-ed and the girls were every bit as active as the boys. You can see the adult referees in this picture. They were there to ensure the kids officiated correctly.


You can also see that the kid refs on the far side all had their own whistles. The arena was big enough that it didn't bother anyone, which was a welcome thing because they were all very ready to sound off at any given moment. 🤣


Of course, when your kid's on the NBA court playing, you don't really care about noise. You're too amped up and excited because you know your child is out there loving life. 🏀


The only thing that could have made the day better is if they'd have gotten to play a whole game. We understood of course, that it had to be a partial game because so many people had to get a turn. 


This event lived up to its hype. This was a once in a lifetime day for a teen and everyone there had a simply fabulous time. My son and myself included.


I am happy to say that my son is not a ball hog by any means. In fact, I'm very proud of him that he is such a fair player and in most instances, he will pass to someone no one else will to ensure everyone has a shot to play and get better, but he does end up with the ball a lot. This day was no exception. He was a go-getter per his usual and did a great job running plays and shooting baskets. I asked him how it felt to be on the court and he said so good his knees were shaking. I'd call that a win for the day. :)


I enjoy watching him play. The older he gets the more invested we get in the sport. It's getting a little pricey at times but that's okay. It's worth every penny and the benefits far outweigh the costs.


The FTX Arena, where the Heat play in Miami is nice. Like any stadium, they have memorabilia around that jogs your memory. Here you see representative jerseys of players who used to be on the team. Michael Jordan's jersey was on an opposite wall of the auditorium all by itself, and that was confusing to me. I looked it up later and saw that Miami was just honoring him as a player who made such a great contribution to the game of basketball (he never played for the Heat), that they wanted to retire his jersey number (23) to honor him forever more.


Included with our invitation was a chance to watch the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors warm up later in the evening before the NBA game began. We had GREAT seats for this, and we were all settled in and happy with our good fortune. Tyler Herro is one of the Heat players and he must have shot 20 buckets in a row during this time. He was crazy good and we were looking forward to seeing him on the court. Let's just say the warmup that evening was way better than his official time on the court. 😉 Jimmy Butler ended up being our MVP of the night, earning a total of 10 assists and 37 points of his own, but I'll talk about the game in a minute.


Once warm up time was over (for us to watch...they still played on but we had to leave so those holding tickets could take their seats), we were kicked out of our seats and told to go to our game day seats. No problem. We walked around the stadium for a bit, exploring what they had to see.


We had plenty of time until the game started so we wandered up and down, 
all around and even got something to eat. 


To be honest though, I was getting antsy and wanted to see the actual game.
 It wasn't quite time yet, but we headed on up to our seats. 


And when I say 'up' to our seats, I mean way up. What I hadn't noticed was that the seats they assigned all of us basketball kid families was waaaaayyyyy up in the stadium. We went up so many floors on the escalator and then we had to walk to the top. Yes, we were up so high, we ran out of escalator, lol.


Not to scoff at the privilege of being there, but we'd have never purchased these seats on our own. We were up so high that it felt dangerous. Kids were climbing over seats to get to parents and I was having a panic attack hoping they wouldn't stumble and fall. No one looked worried. Maybe I was the only one?


Fortunately, the game was so good we soon forgot about our safety risk seats. It ended up going into overtime not one, not two, but three times. It was such an exciting last quarter.  Unfortunately, The Heat lost to Canada's Raptors. I'm sure people at home were screaming at their TVs. We practically lost our voices there in person. 

Our team lost, but we still left happy. How could you not be happy when you had a day that entailed your son getting to play on an NBA court, then you got to take in the warm-up and watch the official players running the court where your child had just been. It was magical. 


We walked down the flight of stairs and waited for the forty-billion-eleven people taking the escalator to get down the ninety-million now-not-moving stairs (the escalator was turned off) and then we stepped outside to the beauty of Miami at night. It was a day (and night) to remember. 

46 comments:

  1. What a wonderful experience for your boy - and for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a great experience! And your boy sounded like he played very fair with everyone. (And he was the only one wearing a mask on the court, correct? Just want to be sure I was looking at the right one.)
    Your seats afterwards were just above the nosebleed section...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex. Yep, that's him. They were told they could take it off on the court. His nose kept popping out when he was running anyway, so it wasn't really serving any purpose.

      And yes, those seats!! I went to buy tickets once for a Phil Collins concert. I was one of the very first people to show up and I waited for hours, which was fine because I knew we'd have great seats. When they opened up, they let all the people who had wrist bands from the radio come up to buy first and we were left with nosebleeds for the only option when it was then our turn. I walked out. No way I'd pay for seats that high up. Now that we've sat there, so many years later (for this game), my mind is still the same. Those seats are for the birds. Still, we had a great time and I was happy for the opportunity. :)

      Delete
  3. That is such an amazing opportunity! I'm sure he's never going to fgorget that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's going to be a permanent good memory too. That makes me happy. :)

      Delete
  4. That sounds like such an awesome experience! I've never been much of a basketball person, but used to go to college games when I was at UCF in Orlando. I know a lot of people who are Miami Heat fans being from SW Florida.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of Heat fans at my job too! We like them, but my son's favorite team is the Warriors. He likes to watch Steph Curry play.

      Delete
  5. Congratulation. Hope he keeps going and it will be a start of an interesting career. Good luck to your boy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh wow this looks so fun! the NBAs are a big name, I'd love to see the actual place someday too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is sooooo cool!!! I can't imagine how excited he must have been, amazing experience. I am so happy for him.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! That is once in a lifetime experience. How cool!! Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That looks like so much fun! I'd be psyched if my kid got to play on a NBA court.

    ReplyDelete
  10. As a center forward back in high school, visiting NBA Court has been on my bucket list! I am sure that it will be a great experience. I am happy to read that you and your son had a fabulous time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Talk about SO many great experiences in one day! I am sure that will be a day your son will remember forever!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am so happy for your son, he will never forget that wonderful experience for sure! So proud of him.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That must have been exciting for your son (and you)!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is an exciting moment! I can relate, as my daughter skated on Olympic ice when she was a pre-teen and she still talks about that experience!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a cool experience! He must have been so excited. This is definitely a unique opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like both you and your son have a great experience. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Awesome experience to be in an actual stadium and play with others. Thank you for sharing this experience!

    ReplyDelete
  18. WOW how lucky is he! What an incredible experience.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nnnniiiiccceeeee....even I would be elated being here! NBA courts look so cool, from wherever you see them from.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, wow! What an amazing experience for him. That's the kind of thing a kid remembers for their entire life.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh my! What an awesome experience this must have been. Memory for keeps!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This was such a greta experience for you and your son. This will be an inspiration and motivation for him.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My son love basketball too and I showed this to him. He would love to be in this event and experience the same.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Their court looks huge and cool. I would have been too excited too if I was in this.

    ReplyDelete
  25. He is so lucky. This memory and experience will be forever a treasure for him.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow what an awesome opportunity!!! I’m sure he’d dream of doing something like this and he finally lived it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. How exciting! He must have had so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wish him congratulatation from me. He has gotten such an awesome success

    ReplyDelete
  29. What an amazing experience! My youngest would love to do something like this!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is so awesome. I know he had to have been super excited about this. I know I'd never forget this moment.

    ReplyDelete
  31. My son would love this opportunity! In fact, I think my husband would enjoy it ten times more than my son! Your son is very lucky!

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a great and priceless experience for your son and your family. He must have been super excited and from the pictures, it looked like he had a lot of fun. It's funny how things have changed because of the virus but I am glad that we are able to at least get parts of our life back.

    Maureen | www.littlemisscasual.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love Miami, this experience sounds great. I have a teen boy too. Yours is so lucky

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is my son's court of dreams! He would love to experience the same.

    ReplyDelete
  35. That's so exciting! What a great experience for your son!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh what a dream. He will never forget this experience!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh this must be so much thrilling and memorable experience for you and your son. Indeed a proud moment for a parent.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oh wow, that must have been an amazing experience. I bet he had the most amazing time there.

    ReplyDelete
  39. That amazing and Congratulations to him. Hope he accomplishes many great things in the years to come.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I bet this experience jazzed him even more and really has his eye on the prize of possibly joining a pro team someday. I'm glad he's a team player and shares the ball. When my daughter was in basketball, there was one girl who refused to pass to anyone else and it just made it no fun for the other players or parents who came to see their kids play.

    Yikes to the high seats. Even though you can really get a good view of the court from up there, I always feel sick when I have to sit that high up. We got free tickets to New Kids on the Block a few years back and we were as high up as you were at this game. I kept having visions of me flying down those bleachers and breaking my neck. I wouldn't have paid for those seats either, but hey, free is free and we still enjoyed ourselves like you did at the game.

    ReplyDelete
  41. It’s truly seems like a fabulous experience. I can only imagine the excitement

    ReplyDelete
  42. How fun! He probably had that on his mind for a long time.

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is awaiting moderation. Thank you for your visit!