The day I met Aaron Gordon

September 4, 2013 — by Nick Chow
Gather around children, and I’ll tell you a story. Gather ‘round, and I’ll tell you the tale of when I met Aaron Gordon.
Gather around children, and I’ll tell you a story. Gather ‘round, and I’ll tell you the tale of when I met Aaron Gordon.
Who’s Aaron Gordon you ask? He’s a college basketball player who graduated last year from Archbishop Mitty who currently plays on the University of Arizona men’s basketball team. The ridiculously athletic 6’9” power forward is a ferocious dunker and an offensive weapon. And he’s going to the NBA.
Now that I’ve gotten your attention, let me continue. The summer before my junior year, I had to have physical therapy for a knee injury. I was at the physical therapy center, warming up on the stationary bicycle, when I saw a giant (his head nearly scraped the ceiling) walk in the entrance and sit down next to me on another bike. I remember almost laughing because he looked like an adult sitting on a child’s bike, with his knees drawn close to his chest. 
After a few seconds of biking, he turned to me, said “hello” and asked what high school I went to. I told him and asked him what school he went to. When I found out that he went to Mitty, it took me awhile to finally put two and two together — super tall, goes to Mitty, looked super familiar — and it hit me: Aaron Gordon.
I was in a bit of shock for a while, because I remember watching highlight video after highlight video of his high school domination, and here he was in the flesh, right in front of me. Talking to me. Just like any normal high school student.
After talking to him, it struck me how humble he was. I asked him which college he wanted to play for (because at that time, he hadn’t declared yet), and he asked me what I thought he should do. Since at that time, I had a terrible knowledge of college basketball, I told him that Kentucky might be a good choice, based solely on the fact that [current NBA player] Nerlens Noel played there. 
Then he started telling me about the time that he played against Nerlens Noel, and how Nerlens Noel was a “beast,” and I felt extremely impressed and also extremely insignificant. Standing next to a basketball player tends to do that, but also because I was hearing about how he traveled around the country playing basketball.
I jokingly asked him if he wanted to play in the NBA, and he responded that it was his dream, and he was going to work hard to achieve it. I almost laughed again here, because unless he quits basketball or is severely injured — knock on wood — he’s going to play in the NBA. He’s projected as one of the top ten picks in the 2014 NBA draft, and yet he still maintained a humble demeanor.
After meeting Aaron, it changed my perception that all celebrities are egotistical. Even though I didn’t get his autograph (I’m still beating myself up about this), in a few years when he’s throwing down dunks in the NBA, I can say to my friends that I’ve met Aaron Gordon. And it’ll be true.
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