Once LeBron James had strolled onto the court and taken his seat in the crowd, it took a split second for the young fan sitting next to him to recognize who she was sitting next to.
But when she did, 12-year-old Gaia couldn’t contain her excitement.
As her brother snapped photos, she put her hands over her mouth in shock and kept looking towards the NBA’s new leading scorer in a moment captured by television cameras.
“When he ended up sitting down here, I’m not as tall as him, obviously, so I could only see his shoes,” Gaia told ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters during the game.
“Then I look up and I see LeBron James and what’s going through my mind is, ‘Oh my God, the greatest player of all time in basketball is sitting next to me!’ I just freak out completely, I’m just thinking, ‘Oh my goodness this is like the best moment of my life.’”
The NBA later tweeted a video of the moment and it went viral.
Sitting next to James, Gaia watched the Los Angeles Lakers defeat defending champions the Golden State Warriors 109-103.
James became the league’s all-time leading scorer earlier this week, breaking the record that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had held for 39 years.
“I asked for these tickets over three months ago, I was so excited and really hoping that LeBron would break the record at this game,” Gaia added.
“And even when he broke it, I was so excited to come to this game. When I heard that he had a foot injury, I was sad. We didn’t know if he was traveling with the team to this game or not.”
After the game, she even got to meet the NBA legend as the Lakers posted pictures of the two high-fiving.