The NBA, my dad and me: What I learned on my first father-daughter trip
This day last week, I took my seat in block L, row 2 for the first inaugural NBA game at Paris' AccorHotels Arena.
Anyone who knows me was shocked to hear I was attending a sporting event that wasn't Magic Mike Live at London's Hippodrome Casino.
A fair reaction from my friends who once heard me ask "are the All Blacks an Australian rugby team?"
But the purpose of this trip wasn't for me or my superior sporting knowledge. It was for my dad.
Since I was a child, I've always heard my dad harp on about the NBA. How he'd fly to Los Angeles to watch the Lakers if ever the lotto was in his favour, or how he'd love to watch just one game that wasn't through a TV screen.
His love for the sport is always something that stood out in my mind and his ability to teach maths and science to secondary school kids while also being their basketball coach was just one of his many talents.
There was no denying his love for the sport and as his adoring daughter, I in turn loved that for him.
So, last year when I found out the NBA play one game a year in Europe, the idea of surprising him with a trip hit me like a lightning bolt.
At 25-years-old, I was finally at the stage where I could afford to keep my overly priced coffee addiction going as well as other various necessities like rent and bills and so, it was the perfect time to pay him back for just some of the life he has given me.
If you're blessed to have a parent or someone older in your life that you look towards for guidance and support - do not take them for granted. Getting to venture to Paris with my dad and share time together as adults brought me so much gratitude and opened my eyes to how important it is to have time like that. When you switch off and actually give all your attention to one person.
We often forget the importance of spending quality time with our parents because unlike the friends we try to impress, we know they'll always be there, that they'll always have our backs. But taking time out to appreciate that support is so important for both you and them.
A hat tip to our parents.
And so, returning to the story, on Christmas Day 2019, I surprised my dad with tickets to the NBA game in Paris.
He cried. I cried.
It was a moment I'll never forget and made me realise how important it is to fill life with precious moments like this especially as we enter a new decade, with a new start to make many more.
With the tickets no longer a secret, my dad and I were set to watch the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Charlotte Hornets on January 24, 2020.
A game that featured the current top NBA team this season plus their secret weapon (that's not easy to hide) - the 6 ft 11 superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo also known as the "Greek Freak" for his exceptional talent.
The tickets, as you can imagine, were extremely impossible to get but thankfully, thanks to StubHub, we managed to secure a pair.
For anyone that's unfamiliar with StubHub, they offer a service enabling fans to buy and sell tickets to tens of thousands of events across 44 countries. What's even better is that every ticket is 100 percent guaranteed valid or you’ll receive your money back or a replacement ticket.
This ticket security made me rest easy, the seats were amazing and the service is definitely something I'll use again when I'm faced with a sold-out gig.
Before we knew it, my dad and I were sitting at an actual NBA game and the five-year-old me felt very proud to get to see him here. To have got him here.
Now, it was game time and we were more than ready.
My whole purpose of writing this feature was to highlight how important it is to create special moments with those you love. We can all get so caught up in our own lives that events like this can end up taking a backseat. But I hope this article reminds you of how lucky you are to have those who love you around you and how important it is to cherish the time together.