PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Gabriel Olvera thought he was getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the Talking Stick Resort Arena on Wednesday. He had an even bigger surprise waiting for him when he walked in the Suns' locker room
2018 No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton welcomed Gabriel to the team. Gabriel got his own locker and jersey. Then it was time to shoot around.
"This is my first time really encountering a kid in that situation," said Ayton. "I really didn't know. I just went with the flow and his energy is amazing."
Watching Gabriel play basketball is special for his family. The Suns teamed up with Phoenix Children's Hospital to surprise the 8-year-old. Gabriel was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome at 27 weeks. He survived heart surgery while still in the womb to save both ventricles and four chambers of his heart. Gabriel has had two open heart surgeries to date and needs the aortic valve and mitral valve replaced in his current heart eventually. Despite the challenges, Gabriel keeps a smile, especially while playing basketball.
"He loves basketball. He gets a little tired on the court, but for him to just be here and do this it's amazing," said Angel Olvera, Gabriel's dad.
Gabriel wants the Suns to draft Zion Williamson. He'll have a front-row seat for the lottery next Tuesday alongside last year's No. 1 pick. It will be a moment of a lifetime and the surprise in the locker room a day Gabriel and his family won't soon forget.