1. On Aug. 24, Miami Heat center Udonis Haslem married his longtime partner Faith Rein after 14 years of dating. Last Friday, The New York Times published a wedding announcement that will warm the hearts of even the most ardent Heat haters.
2. The couple first met at the University of Florida in 1999, where Haslem, from a Miami ghetto, started for the Gators basketball team. After Rein, who came to UF from a Virginia suburb, dumped her football player boyfriend, she got together with Haslem.
After a few months of being friends, Rein told Haslem he should take her out to dinner. He said he would take her to Popeye’s for fried chicken, if she paid. And she did!
3. A year into their relationship, as Haslem was training for the NBA draft, Rein found out she was pregnant. After careful consideration, the couple decided to have an abortion.
“I am not a huge fan of abortion, but we both had sports careers, plus we could not financially handle a baby,” Haslem told The New York Times.
“Udonis appreciated that I was willing to have an abortion,” Rein said. “I found him caring, supportive, nurturing, and all over me to be sure I was OK. I saw another side of him during that difficult time and fell deeply in love. He had a big heart and was the whole package.”
4. After college, Rein moved New York City to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. Haslem bounced around the NBA, continuing a long-distance relationship with Rein. He would persuade her to rejoin him in Miami when he signed with the Heat in 2005.
5. Between 2007 and 2010, the couple would have two sons Josiah, 6, and Elijah, now 2½. On Aug. 29, 2012, after returning from a trip to Italy, Haslem proposed to Rein, waking her up at 2:30 in the morning.
6. On Aug. 24, 2013, Haslem and Rein married in Palm Beach, Florida, in front of family, friends, and Haslem’s Miami Heat teammates and coaches. Dwyane Wade and Lebron James each took selfies.
8. After kissing the bride (four times!), Haslem escorted his new wife down the aisle to “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” by Tupac Shakur.
10. At the after-party, everybody partied with Flo Rida, which is what I assume happens at the end of most truly beautiful Florida weddings.
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