I started this blog when my son turned one, but I’ve come to realize there are so many great stories I wish I could’ve told before. So, I’m making up for lost time!
I found out I was pregnant right before our first preseason broadcast of the year of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Which meant, I was about to be pregnant FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.
Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
It wasn’t easy for me to get pregnant, so I was beyond joyful. However, I certainly had questions about how it would be accepted in an NBA locker room. Keep in mind, I’m already older than most of the guys on our team….(here’s looking at you Nick Collison!) I wasn’t sure if they’d be awkward about it? Think it was weird that I wanted to keep working? And really, how was I going to handle all the late nights and travel?
Well, to say this was my favorite season EVER would be an understatement. From the moment the team found out, they took care of me….and Hunter.
It would be hard to regurgitate all of the ways in which they made me feel special, but here are a few:
Nick Collison always offered to carry my bags….which at first was annoying because I felt so weak, but later on, necessary.
Anthony Morrow offered to teach my son how to shoot hoops. (I’m definitely taking him up on that!)
Russell Westbrook would check my Fitbit to make sure I was getting enough exercise.
The players, coaches, staff, broadcast team, flight attendants….everyone always made sure I was doing ok. Was it tough? Sure. Flying at 3am after a game is tough, even if you don’t have a bowling ball in your tummy making you feel nauseous every five minutes. I traveled with the team until week 35 when they beat San Antonio and went on to the Western Conference Finals in San Francisco…then I anchored in studio (I’m still a little mad at my doctor for saying I couldn’t go-ha!).
I know there were some people that thought I was crazy, but I experienced a year unlike any other. With Hunter running around with me (literally, we ran:), I saw Kobe Bryant’s final road game, the final game of Tim Duncan’s career, and an absolutely phenomenal season with the Thunder and created a lifetime of memories.
I didn’t know if I would share this, but I think it’s a good idea to chronicle some of the big moments in your life. I did that that season, but not for me, I did it for Hunter. One day, I want him to realize not only how excited we were to meet him, but what he experienced before he was even born! (See some pages from the book I made below:)
You see, early on, I was afraid of looking old, even fat (yes-ridiculous) or not being able to connect with the players. Instead, I got to connect with them on another level.
There aren’t enough good stories out there about these role models in the NBA. I hope Thunder fans and fans of the game will appreciate how some young professional basketball players took care of one, actually two!, of their own.