Chicago resident Sahar Walji got to the United Center early on Monday to see her favorite team in action. The visiting San Antonio Spurs, her favorite NBA team since 2005, were set to make their only appearance of the year in the Windy City, somewhere she had just moved to last March.
Well before heading to the game, she had one main goal in mind: get Dejounte Murray to sign her City Edition jersey.
Walji was born and raised in San Antonio before graduating from UT Austin in 2018 and moving around the country for work. She eventually settled in Chicago last year but has never lost the passion she's had for the Spurs since she was 10 years old.
I've personally seen her dedication to the team firsthand, as I've purchased quite a few items from her online store that specializes in Spurs canvases, shirts, and more.
Sahar kept Twitter up to date on her mission during the Spurs' shootaround, with many of her followers reaching out to Benny the Bull, the Spurs Coyote, and anyone else they could think of to help make her wish a reality.
When a few of the Spurs eventually came out for some light shooting, Jakob Poeltl, Keldon Johnson, and Josh Richardson stopped by to chat and sign autographs, but Dejounte Murray missed her and headed back to the locker room.
That's when Spurs Content Senior Producer Tayor Hair stepped in.
"He saw me waiting there with my canvas and jersey and he was being really nice and talking to me," said Walji. "I told him I really wanted to get my jersey signed. He told me he knew it wouldn't be the same but he could make it happen for me."
Hair then took her jersey back through the tunnel and returned a few minutes later with it signed, throwing in an even more special gift on top of that.
"He had asked my name and I didn't really know why. So when I came back, he showed me he had taken a video. Dejounte was talking to me in it."
"Happy Valentine's Day, Sahar," said Murray in the video after signing the jersey.
"The is the first thing I will play when I wake up and go to bed for the rest of my life," she commented in response.
I asked her how it felt to see Murray's message. "It was so much better than a rushed autograph, but I'm still so happy I also got to have an actual conversation with Keldon and Josh Richardson," she replied.
As for the beautiful canvas art she designed last season, Johnson was such a fan, he ended up taking one with him. Meanwhile, Sahar plans to buy another Murray City Edition jersey after getting the signed one framed.
While she might've still been able to get an autograph the second time Dejounte came out, an awesome gesture from one of the friendliest guys in the business made it so she didn't have to stress.
"I cried when I saw the video," she told me on Tuesday. "It was a beautiful moment."