TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A long-time, loyal Taiwanese fan of eight-time NBA all star player Vince Carter flew 13 hours and 6,500 miles to watch his idol play, but was surprised with the chance of a lifetime to join him in practice and even got to toss the 2000 NBA Slam dunk Champion an alley-oop for a two-handed jam.
A 17-year-old fan of Carter, surnamed Cheng, flew approximately 6,500 from Taipei to Sacramento, California to ostensibly to watch the 41-year-old NBA star play four games in person. However, a Twitter campaign that Cheng started earlier in the month to allow him a chance to meet Carter in person paid off, with him getting invited to a pre-game warmup to throw passes directly to his idol.
On Feb. 2, Cheng made his first Twitter post stating that he had been a fan of Carter for 17 years and that his biggest wish was to take a photo with his hero:
I'm a hardcore @mrvincecarter15 fan, taking flight of 65k miles here for @SacramentoKings game.— VCheng (@VCheng0213) 2018年2月2日
I follow him since 2001 until now is over 17 years.I'll stay here to 4 KINGS games for Vince.If there are any chance to take a picture with Vince. its my biggest wish. pic.twitter.com/o50HlLKBL1
Once he started going to the games, he would hold up a large, yellow sign which read, "From Taiwan to SAC. 65000 miles for 115 Vince. May I take a photo with you?" He started to gain media attention with photos and videos of him with his sign starting to go viral on Twitter.
@Golden1Center Im the guy u post it yesterday!!!thanks a lot!!! I'll go to the next 3 @SacramentoKings games,taking photo with @mrvincecarter15 is my biggest wish!!!!hope the dream will come true!! thank u @Golden1Center pic.twitter.com/iUF90DQbOE— VCheng (@VCheng0213) 2018年2月3日
Just when it seemed his dream was not going to be realized and after suffering an eye injury the day before the last game he was to attend, he was notified that he would not only be able to meet Carter, but he would be able to participate in a warmup before the the Sacramento Kings were to square off against the Portland Trailblazers on Feb. 9.
First Carter autographed Cheng's shoes and his Sacramento Kings jersey. Next, Cheng got to participate in an warmup session with Carter which included Cheng throwing passes to Carter as he shot jump shots from the three-point line and was capped off with Cheng tossing an alley-oop pass for Carter to catch in midair and slam dunk.
At the end, Carter can be seen hugging Cheng before the two continue to converse. When asked by the media to describe his feelings about the experience, Cheng said, "I can't say anything to describe this. It was all amazing and an honor to meet him."