Something happened to Dirk Nowitzki last week that he’s never experienced before.
Nowitzki came face-to-face with someone named Dirk, and someone who was named after him. “Little Dirk” Josey of Mesquite shares the same birthday as the Dallas Mavericks’ legend.
“I’ve never met anyone named Dirk,” Nowitzki said before his celebrity baseball game at Dr Pepper Ballpark. “Dirk is a German name, so to meet someone here with that name is unusual.”
Both Dirks share a birthday on Sunday. Nowitzki will be 38. Josey will be 13.
“It’s good enough being named after him, but having the same birthday, that’s incredible,” said Josey, an eighth-grader at Mesquite Terry Middle School. “It’s something that you can only dream of.”
Josey’s mother, Mandy Josey, said initially her son wasn’t slated to be named after Nowitzki.
“We were going to name him a different name, but then I got mad at my husband and I said, ‘I’m surprised you’re just not going to name this kid Dirk,’ ” Mandy Josey said. “And then he said, ‘Well, I never thought about it.’
“So that’s how it came, so we named him Dirk because my husband is a major Dirk fan.”
Although the Joseys are Mavericks fans, Mandy Josey never realized the stars would align to the point where her son and Nowitzki would have so much in common.
“My Dirk was born five weeks early,” Mandy Josey said. “But I didn’t know until he was 6 months old that they had the same birthday.”
And what was her reaction when she discovered the coincidence?
“It was a major surprise,” Mandy Josey said. “My first thoughts were this is the craziest thing that’s ever happened, the craziest thing I could ever think of.”
Nowitzki took photos with Dirk Josey, and then voluntarily asked him if he wanted his autograph, and patiently signed a few items.
“It was the best thing that could ever happen,” Mandy Josey said of her son’s meeting with Nowitzki. “To see the joy in him, now you can see the joy in me.”
That same joy was expressed by Dirk Josey after meeting his namesake.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Dirk Josey said.