Gola Mae Fleming turns 102!
MFFL Gola Mae Fleming spent her 102nd birthday at last night's Mavs game!
During a timeout late in regulation in last night’s game against the Utah Jazz, with the in-arena cameras scanning American Airlines Center for rowdy fans performing their favorite “Shotline Bling” dance moves, a sign suddenly appeared on the jumbotron: “Score 102 for me on my 102nd birthday.” The crowd erupted.
Behind the sign was Gola Mae Fleming, who spent her 102nd sitting courtside with her family. It’s the third year in a row she’s celebrated with the Mavericks.
Fleming and her family also participated in the pre-game high-five line, greeting the players and wishing them well before they took the floor for warmups. A few of the players wished her a happy birthday as they walked by, but Chandler Parsons stopped to give her a hug, and Dirk Nowitzki gave a warm greeting as he passed by. Later, she’d meet with Mavs proprietor Mark Cuban as well.
“I just love them. Dirk, the whole bunch,” she said.
Fleming’s daughter, Gatha Longley, said they first came to games in the 1990s, but these trips are extra special for the family, residents of Bridgeport, Texas.
Fleming has been a lifelong basketball fan. She said she played on her high school team in Oklahoma, even as an eighth grader. A true example of someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes the sport, she said she still watches every Mavs game.
“I stay up to watch them ’til they get through playing,” she said. “They’re the only team that I’ll sit up until after midnight to watch.”
Next February, if you’re at American Airlines Center, keep your eyes peeled for Fleming and her family. You might not have to look too far to find the rowdiest, proudest, and loudest 103-year-old in the building.