MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- JoAnne Ralph gets a lot of bogus calls from telemarketers, but a call she received Wednesday night was different.

"I said, you wouldn't pull an old lady's leg, would you?"

Just hours after the 81-year old grandmother from Mesa appeared on Arizona's Family talking about what a huge Suns fan she is, Ralph got a random call from someone offering to take her to Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The call came from fellow Suns fan Ben Barchilon, who saw the story and felt an instant connection to Ralph and her love of the Suns.

JoAnne Ralph

"She couldn't believe it," said Barchilon. "She thought I was messing with her. She's like, you can't mess with an 81-year old woman."

Mesa grandmother shows support for Phoenix Suns with extensive memorabilia

The 24-year old Phoenix accountant was at game one of the NBA Finals Tuesday night and said it was so amazing that he wanted Ralph to have the same experience. Barchilon decided to buy two tickets to Game 2 of the NBA Finals and invited a woman he'd never met to go with him.

A diehard Suns fan from Mesa, this grandmother will be at tonight's game thanks to a generous fellow fan!

"I don't need to go to another game. I can watch it at home save my money," said Barchilon. "But when I saw her, I was like this is bigger than money, this is a huge moment."

"It was really cool that he was that sensitive to an older person and to another Suns fan because he's been a Suns fan almost all his life," said Ralph. "He knows how exciting it can be."

The recent ASU graduate doesn't want to say how much he spent on tickets, but online, prices were running $600 a seat and went as high as $30,000.

To make the story even better, Jet Limousines of Phoenix offered a ride to the Suns' fans to and from the game at no charge. The limo was a surprise from Ralph to Barchilon, and it was his first ever ride in one. With sparkling apple cider on hand, from Mesa to downtown Phoenix the duo felt that nervous excitement that only diehard Suns fans know. Win or lose, they're in it together now.

"I ain't going anywhere without him. If I'm out on the court, he's out there right with me. If I'm in an airplane going to Milwaukee, he's with me," Ralph said.

Decades apart, they bond over Suns legends like Connie Hawkins to now Devin Booker. They both love the team and city. "It's bigger than just me as a fan," Barchilon said. "This city can win a championship."

"If I had a granddaughter that age, I think he'd have to take her because I would give her to him," said Ralph. "He will be a good catch. There are a lot of good people in the world."

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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