This lovelorn basketball fan got an unexpected assist…
by- Posted on May 14, 2015
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and lathered up my full head of hair with shaving cream. With intense concentration and a few bold strokes, I shaved my scalp clean. Just like the man in the photograph I’d taped to the mirror—slick-passing (and slick-headed) NBA point guard Mike Bibby of the Sacramento Kings. That was the part where the editors inserted the voiceover: “Serious sports fans need serious sports coverage…”
The things I did for my acting career! I’d had second thoughts about sacrificing my vanity to film a commercial for the Sacramento Bee sports section. My friends said I looked goofy with a shaved head—and as it was, I wasn’t having much luck in love. “It’ll be months before your hair grows back and you can rejoin the dating scene,” one friend told me. Ultimately, I trusted that God had given me this opportunity for a reason.
Fortunately, the “Bibby Wanna-be” ad was a hit. Local networks played it before every Kings game . For a fan like me, that was a dream come true. Even if I couldn’t share it with the girl of my dreams.
A year after the commercial aired, my friends finally thought I had enough hair to try dating again. They signed me up for one of those dating websites. I sat at the computer in my home office and clicked on a new message in my inbox.
“Hi there, my name is Stephanie,” the woman wrote. She had pretty brown eyes and a beautiful smile. I wrote back right away. Soon we exchanged numbers. I had no problem making a fool of myself on screen in front of thousands, but I was nervous about that first phone call.
Stephanie quickly put me at ease. Our conversation flowed like we already knew each other. I told her about my acting work, and she asked what I’d done. I mentioned the Mike Bibby spot.
There was a long silence. “That was you?” Stephanie finally said. “I probably shouldn’t say this, but when I saw it, I turned to my best friend and said, ‘I could marry that guy.’”
Mike Bibby retired with 5517 career assists…but I credit someone else with this one. Stephanie and I were married eight months later. Today we have a 9-year-old son, and in March, we celebrated our 11-year anniversary.
Rich Seiber's other passion, besides basketball, is writing. His self-published novel, The Homeless Informant, is available on Amazon.com.