The year was 1997 and Trey was going to be turning 13. He's always been a big basketball fan and in the past few years I'd gotten him different basketball-themed gifts that he seemed to really like. The previous year, I bought him a Chicago Bulls beret (they're his favorite team) that he wore all winter. A few years before that, I got him a complete set of Skybox cards. He told me recently that he still has them in his mother's basement. For his first birthday as a teenager I wanted to get him something really special.
During the previous summer, Trey had been really interested in a team called the Seattle Supersonics, who had played the Chicago Bulls in the championship round of the playoffs. Trey was particularly taken with a player named Shawn Kemp. I was reminded of this by my husband Harold one day when we were shopping for Trey's present. I even remember Trey getting his hair cut just like Shawn Kemp's. There was just a little square of hair on the front of his head. It looked odd to me, but he said all the kids in his subdivision had their hair cut like that. He's always been a bit of an eccentric anyways.
With this in mind, I decided to look for something to give him in DC Collectibles, a store that has a plethora of different sports memoribilia. Since we were in the midwest, it was a challenge finding any sort of Seattle Supersonics products. I considered getting Trey a Michael Jordan autographed jersey that he had worn during the playoffs, but decided that he would rather have something that wasn't Chicago Bulls. Then I saw it: a signed Shawn Kemp poster. I knew it was the perfect present.
You should have seen Trey's face when I gave it to him! He was so excited and thankful. I told him about the Michael Jordan jersey, and he assured me that he'd rather have the Shawn Kemp poster that I had purchased. I was so happy to make him so happy! Just this past year, when I visited Trey at his house I was shocked to see that he still has that Shawn Kemp poster hanging on his wall. He must really love it!