PHOENIX — "I was like, absolutely!" Mr. ORNG - aka Patrick Battillo -- said outside Footprint Center.
Really, what else would he say? The NBA came to him to be in their 75th Anniversary, Christmas Day commercial representing the Phoenix Suns, and all NBA fans.
"Once in a lifetime experience," Battillo said, "something I just soaked in really."
The ad is a continuation of the NBA Lane ad campaign. It shows a Christmas-y house full of basketball legends like Sue Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Pau Gasol and Robert Parrish, as well as celebrities like Desus and Mero (from Showtime), Quavo (musician) and Billy Crystal.
And smack in the middle of the dinner table, between NBA greats Baron Davis and Shawn Marion...is MR ORNG. He's the lone non-celebrity among the group. Even the young girl at the other end of the table is an actress.
“it's not something I take lightly," Battillo said. "It's very humbling and a major honor to represent not just the suns, but the entire NBA as a fan."
Battillo said the NBA reached out to the Suns to recruit him for the project.
After some Zoom meetings, he flew to Los Angeles to shoot the commercial, having almost no idea who the rest of the cast would actually be.
It's been a rollercoaster year for Mr. ORNG. The beginning of the year saw him cheering on the Suns to the NBA championship series...a series they ended up losing. Then, in October, his father was involved in a serious car accident and given a slim chance of survival. In recent weeks, he's defied the odds and is recovering. Then, the NBA came calling.
"We just kept our faith," Battillo said. "And then the NBA reaches out for this and it's all during the holiday times and my dad's starting to become more conscious and, you know, all of it's coming back full circle.”
The ad dropped early on the NBA social media channels. It starts airing on television for the next two weeks on December 11.
Watch more of the latest sports videos on the 12 News YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!