A PAW-FECT DAY WITH KNICKS PLAYER JALEN BRUNSON AND AYANA
On December 6th, 2022, we took the only next step we could think of to bring even more smiles to a Garden of Dreams event – we added puppies to the mix!
While this special day was full of holiday joy, this story actually starts back in July, when the New York Knicks hosted an introductory press conference for summer signee Jalen Brunson. Garden of Dreams invited 20 young people from partner SCO Family of Services to help give Jalen a proper New York City welcome, and one of those young people, Ayana, even got to ask Jalen a question during Q&A. Ayana stood on a chair to ask Jalen what he thought his dog, Kona, would like best about their recent move to the big city.
Ayana then shared she has three dogs of her own at home, which prompted Jalen to invite her to a future “puppy playdate” with Kona and one of Ayana’s dogs. A man of his word, Jalen kept his promise and he and his family (furry friends included) invited Ayana, her mom, and her pup Peanut to the Knicks training facility.
The group took their dogs for a walk, exchanged some pet-themed gifts, and everyone – two-legged and four-legged folks alike – made new friends on that special day.
Later that week, Ayana came to the Garden to cheer Jalen on from courtside seats! She even sent Jalen and Kona a special holiday gift to round out the experience. We have a feeling this puppy playdate won’t be the last time Jalen and our Ayana celebrate their special bond!