Mother of two Natalie Allen hoped picking up a book about basketball would help her son fall in love with reading. The last thing she expected was for it to spark an NBA dream while sitting courtside to watch Patty Mills.
Mills threw open the San Antonio Spurs' doors to the Allen family after eight-year-old Luke won an all access pass to get a red-carpet experience in the glitz and glamour world of the NBA.
Canberra junior Mills offered the prize as part of the release of his 'Game Day!' book series, which hit close to home for western Sydney's Chisholm Catholic Primary School student Luke.
But when he entered a competition to meet Mills, the last thing he expected was to be invited into the Spurs' inner sanctum.
"I really want to play in the NBA one day and when I met Patty it made me want to be a NBA player even more," Luke said.
"It's unbelievable how I won the holiday and can't believe we got to do all that stuff like going into the Spurs locker room, getting my jersey signed and getting signed shoes.
"Patty is such a nice guy, he gave us so much stuff. It was so cool watching him play and beat the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets."
The Spurs have slipped to fifth on the western conference standings, with Mills shouldering a bigger work load this season as the injury-hit squad attempts to keep its championship hopes alive.
The 29-year-old has played for the Spurs for the past seven years and has created a home in San Antonio.
He has been embraced by the community and visited school children last week to speak about his book.
"The idea of being able to go to the NBA just by reading a book ... to see it unfold with Luke, his little brother and family, to see the excitement and overwhelming joy was amazing," Mills said.
"I wanted kids to enjoy reading the books, combine it was sports and have fun. Hopefully they learnt a bit as well, the feedback we've had is that it's helping some kids kickstart that enjoyment for reading again."
Natalie didn't know Mills' 'Game Day!' series existed until she went searching for a basketball book for Luke's book week costume.
"He dressed up as Patty for the book parade and just loved it," Natalie said.
"Patty gave some shoes to Luke as well, the ones that had references to [Eddie] Mabo]. It was such an awesome experience ... and Luke's face was unbelievable. His eyes were bursting the whole night."