The best picture of Jorts since the freethrow.
This story has been floating around the internet for a couple days. I know because I’ve received it in my email at least twice. At first, I wasn’t sure about the validity of the story, so I was reluctant to post it. However, the author (and father) emailed us with the story and picture for proof, so we are relaying the story to you. It’s another great example of just how special this team is. As you’re getting ready for East Tennessee State, take a second and check this out.
In Brian Sams own words…
Yesterday (Mon.) was my youngest daughter Rebekah’s 16th birthday, and in keeping with family tradition she got to pick the restaurant for her birthday dinner. She decided on P.F. Chang’s at Fayette Mall, even though she had never dined there prior to last night.
We arrived at about 6:50pm and were told there would be a 20-25 minute wait. After we had been sitting in the foyer for about 10 minutes I was looking out the front door and I told my wife “that guy walking this way kind of looks like Patrick Patterson”.
Sure enough, in through the door walk Patterson, Harrelson and Liggins. Since I was literally standing by the door I shook each one’s hand and congratulated them on this past weekend’s performance. We assumed that this was just an instance of a few of the guys going out for dinner, but within the next 8-10 minutes, in groups of 2-4 players/coaches, the entire team showed up, Calipari included. The funniest group was Cousins and Orton. They showed up together (they are some big boys!), and DeMarcus — with a huge grin on his face — proceeded to do two “laps” around the revolving door, trapping Orton inside. It made me fully realize that they are still kids at heart, even though they’re full grown men from all outward appearances.
Again, I made it a point to shake hands and congratulate every single one that came through the door (even the Assistants), because how many opportunities does a CAT fan get to do this, right?
They apparently had reservations, because as each mini-group entered the restaurant they proceeded directly into the dining area, where they were met with applause from the patrons (which I thought was cool too). After they had all passed by we were talking about how neat this was, and how Rebekah had made a wonderful choice of restaurants! We thought that was pretty much the end of the excitement.
Our 20-minute wait turned into 50 minutes, but we were finally seated. Lo and behold they put our party of 9 at a table right next to the team, which we again thought was neat. Even though several patrons walked up and took pictures, I insisted that we leave them alone to enjoy their dinner…the way it should be IMHO.
As we noticed they were finishing up, my wife half-jokingly suggested that my oldest daughter go over and tell them why we were there, and would they mind wishing her sister a happy birthday. Well, she did, and what happened next is the meat of the story.
Patterson, Harrelson, Hood and Stevenson walked over behind her (at the head of the table), and Patrick leaned over her shoulder, gave her a hug and asked her name and how old she was. After she told him he straightened up, raised his arms and said to the entire dining room “Hey, it’s ‘Bekah’s 16th birthday, so why don’t we all sing to her?” Josh kicked it off, and those 4 players, our table, and the rest of the patrons in the dining room sang Happy Birthday to her! You can imagine the impact this had on her. She had an ear-to-ear grin that might have been the widest I’ve ever seen on a person!
They also gave her a cake that someone had brought for them. It was a store-bought cake that read “Congrats Cats, 2010 SEC Champs”. Josh said “Here, we’re too full to eat this, why don’t you take it”. Then there were a few more “thank you’s” and handshakes, and they left the restaurant. As you can imagine, all eyes were on our table, and we again thought that was just the coolest thing that could happen, and that it was definitely a memorable birthday.
About 5 minutes later we were still talking about what had just transpired, when back through the front door walks Harrelson, with his hand behind his back. He walked up to Rebekah and said “do you think this would be a good birthday present” and brought his hand from behind his back to present her with a basketball autographed by the entire team, and personalized with the words “Happy Birthday Bekah, Big 16”!!
We were absolutely stunned!! I didn’t know my jaw could drop that far, and that grin on Rebekah’s face that I was sure couldn’t get any bigger, well it doubled in size! I think it kind of blew away everybody in the restaurant, and it certainly did us!
That’s my story; thanks for the indulgence. But the point I want you to leave with is this:
How good are these young men to do this? Heck, we were absolutely tickled that they took the time to wish her a happy birthday and sing to her, but when Josh brought that ball in and handed it to her it transformed a great birthday dinner into an occasion she’ll remember for the rest of her life!
Bekah with the signed ball.
Birthday girl with the cake.