Joseph Tagaban, an Alaska-based Filipino basketball standout, ticked a box off his dream list when he met his idol – NBA All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson – in person.
The meetup – courtesy of Make A Wish Foundation in the US – was put together in early July in what Tagaban, who was treated for a form of leukemia, thought was another trip to the hospital for a checkup.
Organizers then revealed he was to set to meet the four-time NBA champion.
With his family, Tagaban came face to face with Thompson at an Orange County gym, where Thompson handed to the teen Golden State Warriors gear, a signed Warriors jersey, and a Kobe Bryant-autographed photograph that Thompson got when he was 15.
They shot hoops, with Thompson offering tips. They also had a ride-around in Thompson’s car, and later they got ice cream, all much to Tagaban’s awe.
“You gotta nice jumper,” Thompson said of Tagaban.
Of Thompson, Tagaban said: “Klay’s form is absolutely clean. It’s satisfying just watching his game. And I just overall appreciate him as a player. I’ve seen clips of him how he’s humble.”