Jean Liddell of Norman was up early Thursday morning, preparing Thanksgiving dinner for her family of 35…not bad for an 85-year old great-grandmother hit square in the head by a sharp pass from an NBA basketball player the night before.
Sitting courtside at Wednesday night’s Thunder game with her sons Mike and Mickey, Mrs. Liddell was enjoying her favorite team when midway through the third quarter an errant Kevin Durant pass came her way. The ball hit her in the head and even knocked her glasses to the floor.
“ I was having a great time and that ball just came out of nowhere, you don’t think about it,” she told us today. Seconds after being hit, she was all smiles as Durant came over, asked her if she was ok, bent down and gave her a comfort kiss on the head. “Ain’t he a sweet guy? He is so sweet,” she added. Thabo Sefolosha also helped comfort her.
Lightning struck twice a few minutes later as the ball came towards her again. This time, hitting her on her knee, on which she recently had surgery. Realizing that might be an unlucky seat, she wanted to enjoy the rest of the game in another location. “My son got up and moved me out of that terrible territory,” Liddell joked.
Mrs. Liddell’s “souvenir” for the night is a black eye from where the ball hit her, but she said she is fine. “That’s minor when you have somone like Kevin give me a kiss.”
She said Thabo and the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford came over to check on her after she was hit the second time, one of the referees gave her a hug and Rumble came and sat in her lap. “After a while I said, everyone go away so I can watch that game again,” she joked.
As for her family, they are glad she is doing well and are taken with her new-found YouTube fame. Her son Mickey is a Hollywood producer whose phone lit up immediately with texts from friends in L.A. who watched it all on national TV.
“I had little angels watching me the whole time. I have that guardian angel that stays with me, when a ball comes at me, it didn’t even hurt me,” Mrs. Liddell said.
But next game, she won’t take any chances. ” I will pick a different seat next time, I think.”
Watch Brian Davis and Grant Long’s coverage of the moment on FOX Sports Oklahoma.