Back story: I found out I was pregnant with Rayna 2 weeks before my 27th birthday. It was such an exciting time for us - we left for my yearly birthday vacation that year - to the Bahamas and we basked in the emotions of how our lives were about to change in the best way possible. Oneil wanted to make sure my parents weren't disappointed with him ** not that it's right or wrong ** it's just something that was important to him (which was so sweet to me) so we quickly started to talk about marriage. We spoke about getting engaged before, And we knew each other were the one, but not in the near future so this just put a speed on things. He wanted to make sure we were engaged before we announced that we were pregnant. He would take trips into Manhattan to design my ring with his jeweler. I knew all about it - He asked me the shape I wanted and he took it from there. He even told me he had a plan to propose to me on a Saturday at dinner in front of our friends at our favorite restaurant sometime in November of that year.
For those who don’t know - Oneil and I are now huge Brooklyn Nets fans. He was always just a basketball fan and I actually hated basketball and everything that it was but that had to change really quick. Lets put it this way - we buy each other plane tickets to cities where we can go to games instead of things. I would rather sit court side then receive a new Chanel bag. He taught me life was about the experiences and not material things so we decided to pull the trigger on season tickets and they may have been the best decision we ever made. Well, maybe second best decision to the one he made on this very night…
It was the day before Halloween and I am always really into the couples costume thing. But we had a game on our schedule - it was a Wednesday, it was Halloween and we had nothing to wear. Our season ticket seats sit first row behind the visitors bench. Whenever the TV camera scans over to their team, you can find me always eating, Oneil interacting with the players or whatever else happens to catch you off guard. Needless to say, my hair/make up/outfit needs to be top notch every. single. time.
Oneil was really into having a costume to wear to the game the next day - like he insisted we go to the mall and get matching sneakers. (I don't wear sneakers often to these games.) In fact, he took it upon himself to look at Pinterest for couples costumes ideas. I didn't even think that men knew how to use Pinterest. He screen shotted a picture of plain t shirts with the Bonnie & Clyde decal - I thought it was really cute and actually really sweet that he wanted to do that so I willingly broke out my Cricut and went to town designing the t-shirts at midnight. It was now the next day, Halloween - we wore our t-shirts in opposite colors, I left a bowl of candy out for our trick or treaters and we drove into Brooklyn like it was a normal weekday game.
My Air Max :
Oneil's Air Max :
Oneil's Air Max :
We enter the Barclays Center like normal - eat dinner and find our seats. They were playing the Detroit Pistons I'll never forget it. Oneil knows just about every single person that works in the Barclays Center. Ally Love, the sales people, the security guards, the maintenance people, EVERYONE. One of the Hype Team guys comes up to us - verbatim - "You're wearing sneakers! Thats perfect, do you want to enter the free throw shooting contest during of the time outs during the game?" (Apparently you're not allowed to wear a heel on the court.) Before I could answer, Oneil shouted "YES! this is once in a life time! it will be so fun- Can I go on with her?" trying to throw me off and it was WAY over my head. Very reluctantly I told Oneil that I was so nervous and didn't know if I wanted to do it. He lovingly forced me because if I didn't his whole plan would be ruined.
When we had about 10 minutes to go before the timeout, he came and grabbed Oneil and I. Now I was freaking out - they took me to the back behind the bleachers and let me bounce the ball around. Oneil was cool as a cucumber. I'm sweating as I type this. Ally Love - Everyone knows Ally Love, she orchestrated the whole event. She made me feel so comfortable! I was to get up to the free throw line and try to make as many as I could. Piece of cake - I had a pretty good shot. Until I was told I would be blind folded and spun around. I asked the Hype Man not to spin me cause there was only 2 people who knew I was pregnant at that particular time and I might have thrown up. I didn't want that to happen in front of tens of thousands of people.
The NBA has TV timeouts which cut to commercial breaks during the game for those who are watching on TV at home. We had like 3 minutes to get out there, shoot the free throws and get out! I was a nervous wreck. All I thought to myself was that I wanted Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons to be impressed by my blind folded free throw shots.
The whole time I thought Oneil was passing me the balls to shoot. My timer ran out - not one shot went in - they turn me around and take my blind fold off. There he was. On his knee. It front of the entire Barclays Center. Everything was hazy. I couldn't believe it. The media was rushing around trying to get video and pictures but the time out was over and they needed to get back to the game. I couldn't take time to comprehend what was going on. He had to drag me off the court. It was so loud and everyone was cheering. He then brought me upstairs to a suite - I thought there was going to be champagne and just time for us to enjoy the moment. When I walked in - my entire family and friends were there - they saw the whole thing and then we celebrated. I truly will never forget this night and it's something I hope Oneil passes down to our son - to always making your lady feel like the most amazing person in the room, or int his case - the arena.
Click for proposal video
I have to thank Arden Wright, our right hand with all things Brooklyn Nets for going above and beyond for the most special day that I will never forget. Miss Ally Love for all she did to keep my nerves at bay during the entire thing and making it so special for us on the court. And to our Brooklyn Nets fam, we can't wait to be back in the Arena. We love you guys!