November 12, 2010
If you've ever been to a major league sporting event, you've probably seen someone propose to his girlfriend (or the other way around -- BDL supports new ways of romantic thinking) via the Jumbotron. It's a private moment made quite public, and it's as much a part of the fan's experience as eating hot dogs or booing an overpaid lollygagger. NBA teams have even staged fake proposals for the delight of the home crowd.
NBA players can't use the Jumbotron during games for their proposals -- it'd be like if they watched the Kiss Cam during timeouts instead of listening to their coach, or if the coaches did interviews during quarter breaks when they're supposed to be addressing their team. But they do have practice, which isn't quite as serious an affair as many fans would like it to be.
A few days ago, Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver(notes) took advantage of that time to propose to his long-term girlfriend. Wolves.com's Jonah Ballow has the story (via TrueHoop):
Tolliver grabbed the team photographer and videographer to stage a photo shoot with his girlfriend, Jessica Svoboda, who was in town from Houston. Jessica was under the assumption that she was going to take professional photos at Loring Park and then at the practice facility with the two posing in Wolves uniforms. All along, Tolliver planned on surprising his future fiancée while documenting the entire event. [...]
Tolliver slipped on his No. 44 jersey and grabbed a box for Jessica with her own custom uniform inside. Almost simultaneously, Jessica saw the description on the back of the jersey, labeled, "Mrs. Tolliver" and Anthony dropped to one knee for the proposal. A mixture of laughter and tears ensued and the Tolliver's embraced directly under the basketball hoop where Anthony spends countless hours perfecting his craft.
Congratulations to the newly engaged couple. Svoboda has been with Tolliver since he was a struggling undrafted rookie and D-League player, so you know these two have already been through some trying times.
I'm not sure as a little girl she dreamed of marrying her sweetheart while Michael Beasley(notes) and Darko Milicic(notes) looked on. But it's a wonderful day nonetheless, especially with her fiance working towards becoming a regular NBA rotation player. At the very least, Tolliver has proven he's creative enough to keep this relationship fresh.
In related news, David Kahn has already inquired about Svoboda's ability to play point guard.