DALLAS – Peg Hauswirth of Denton said her 92nd birthday turned out to be her best one yet.
That’s because she finally got to meet her favorite sports star and hero: Dirk Nowitzki.
“I told him he’s great and he told me I’m great…and I kissed him!” she said.
Peg became a Dallas Mavericks fan when she moved from Houston to Denton a couple of decades ago. According to her family, Tracy and Tom Hauswirth of Arlington, she didn’t plan to fall in love with the Mavs, but around the time of her move, the team acquired a 7-foot German who instantly caught her attention.
“When I first saw him play, I knew he was special,” said Peg. “I watch every single game on TV. I have three sons and consider him my other son. I just never met him.”
Peg turned 92 on Thursday, and the Mavs worked with her family to create a unique gameday experience fit for a queen. Before the game, the birthday girl posed for photos with Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson and hugged and shook hands with Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall.
“Oh, Peg, happy birthday,” Marshall told her. “I want to be this fine and fabulous at 92!”
The team had one more surprise, so they set Peg up in a chair outside the Mavs locker room, and she quietly waited as each player came outside the door and raced through the tunnel toward the court.
Then it happened.
“There he is! There he is!” Peg shouted, as Nowitzki turned the corner with his hands held open wide and embraced the woman who waited 21 years to meet her favorite superstar.
The duo held on tight, Peggy whispering uplifting words with Dirk encouraging her back.
After hugging and talking for a few minutes, Peg wanted to show Nowitzki one last thing. It was a t-shirt with pink Hawaiian lettering with the words “Dirkalicious” looped across the front.
It’s the most sacred item in her house, Peg told Dirk, as the pair laughed and snapped photos with the supersized tee that swallowed little Peg.
Then the pair held on tight for one last hug as Peg thanked Dirk for making her birthday wish come true.
“I thought we’d get just to shake hands,” she said. “But I got in a bunch of hugs and even a kiss. I still have goosebumps. That was the best birthday of my life.”
With tears in her eyes, Peg stood there in awe. Amazed. Thankful.
She paused to let the moment sink in.
“I love that man,” Peg said, as she waltzed away with her cane, flanked on both sides by her family, holding her favorite Dirkalicious shirt. “He’s just the greatest.”
Twitter: @TamaraJolee | @MavsOffCourt
92-year-old Peg Hauswirth of Denton tells me today was the best day of her LIFE! “I gave Dirk a kiss and told him he’s great!” 💙🎂
— Tamara Jolee (@TamaraJolee) February 23, 2019
Dirk made this 92-year-old fan's birthday wish come true 😊 pic.twitter.com/Lhr6HBiq3A
— ESPN (@espn) February 23, 2019