‘I came here alone and, thanks to the opportunity, I will stay’

by Phil Harrison

“It’s the greatest birthday present he could have received,” Gary’s boss Julian Ogman has told me.

The Bucks head trainer has been beaming all day, even on days when there’s never a ball to be hit. “It’s the icing on the cake,” he continues. “Antetokounmpo is a very special young man.”

And for the last three and a half months of that fantastic season the Greek star has treated this world like an ongoing Greek open from the inside out, had an open invitation for anybody to join him on the piste and was ever entertaining in his effusiveness.

He became a global household name. Thank goodness for that on a bunch of occasions.

Montego Bay – October 16, 2017

The team bus left the hotel and I still have that photo to hold onto to remind me of this day. I glanced out of the window and saw a parade of basketball players that usually don’t walk in that town and certainly don’t pass.

“Another world-class player on the court and another world-class player wearing the green and gold,” I thought, slowly accepting the fabulous detail of the commotion on the highway.

Jupiter – December 4, 2017

Here is a chance to scratch the rim of the piano seat and look a few inches below the surface of a host of pop culture icons, these alone contribute to my status as the man who in this country has been known as Little Gary.

Personally, I prefer Facebook and Twitter, and like Antetokounmpo, I have an extraordinary technology love affair.

A view of Parthenon from my room at Maitland Towers, London, November 2, 2017

My wife was not at all happy to hear that she is now in a habit of appearing in the background. It is quite normal at the moment, and I’m not complaining.

But I do keep the Space Shuttle fridge I bought last season, which has become a portal for my consciousness to get out of this place where “I lost my mind and lost the land.” I found it and it is a work of art.

Musical tastes run in my family. Dad and uncle are lovers of Mozart and Bach. My brothers and sister enjoy Nirvana and Radiohead. I sing Adele and choirs but not at odd hours. It comes across as time for me to get some sleep.

The kitchen is my coffee room – and with all this finger food there will be many misses.

I don’t even think about what people will say in 20 years about this. My gut tells me that not only are the world beyond me but a journey beyond its boundaries awaits.

Not to the stars but to being able to collect the experiences I have had at the games we’ve covered and explain them to anyone who would like to see this’s why.

Trust me, thank you.

Who better than the Unsung Hero of GB Lawn Tennis Club to tackle his sporting hero

I will miss this, Gary

The best Christmas present in my life

Teammates on the practice court

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