Many Missouri Mavericks fans are thankful to the team for allowing them to purchase tickets to Wednesday night's “Pay What You Can Game,” in which fans were allowed to purchase up to six tickets for whatever price they could afford.
The message behind the game had an impact on the team, its staff and the front office as they celebrate Thanksgiving today with friends and family members.
“I wish this would be my first Thanksgiving with Owen,” said team equipment manager and new dad Andrew Dvorak, whose 4-month-old son is with his mom, Shannon, visiting out-of-state relatives. “We'll have a lot of Skype time. I know he's going to be a lot bigger when he gets back home.”
Team captain Sebastien Thinel and wife Ashley are entertaining her parents over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“You know what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving – and every day of my life – my family,” said Thinel, whose 4-year-old son Maddx and 2-year-old son Jett are frequent postgame locker room visitors. “The Mavericks did a good thing with the ‘Pay What You Can Game,’ and I hope it becomes a tradition.
“I know in talking with the boys on the team, we're so happy that fans who might not get to see us play have the opportunity to watch us during the special game.”
That thought filtered throughout the locker room.
“I'm lucky to be with my family over Thanksgiving,” said another new dad on the team, forward John-Scott Dickson. “We're all about family in this locker room, and being able to share the holidays with family, our fans and all our new fans who came for the ‘Pay What You Can Game’ make this Thanksgiving even more special.”
It's going to be a special Thanksgiving for rookie Tyler Currier, who has been sidelined all season with a broken foot.
“My dad was in from Anchorage (Alaska) this past weekend and my mom is coming in for Thanksgiving,” Currier said. “They couldn't come down together because of the kids back home, but it's great they were able to come down over the holiday.”
For CHL tough guys Colt King and Dave Pszenyczny, the holiday is a time to spend with family and friends.
“My wife Natalie is talking with the Community Services League about some homeless shelters or soup kitchens we can help with over the holidays,” said Pszenyczny, who recently donated several clothing items to a local homeless man who is trying to get back into society.
“A lot of people out there need help, and this is the time of year you begin to think about helping people. They need help year around, and that's why Natalie is trying to find out some different ways we can help.”
King has family members in for the holiday and says that puts him in the right frame of mind.
“I am just so thankful for family, friends and the right to be free,” King said. “We can do what we want, do what we choose – and you can't do that everywhere. We are all so lucky to have our family and friends, and I want to wish everyone a special Thanksgiving.”
First-year team trainer Bill Murray, who has spent countless Thanksgivings away from home, said, “I'm just so thankful to be a part of a class organization like the Mavericks.”
When asked what Thanksgiving meant to him, Obi Aduba, the newest member of the Mavs, smiled and said, “Football. It's a time of reflection, and being with your family and hanging with the guys, but it's also all about football.”