When Aaron Gordon sent Ball Arena into a frenzy with his Christmas Day overtime dunk, not everyone was happy about it. Just ask Javon Ruffin.
“I enjoyed it,” Ruffin said smiling. “But wish it ended on a better note.”
The Colorado freshman guard is actually a Suns fan. His dad Michael, is a Phoenix assistant coach.
“Saw him during the game up in the stands waving at us,” Michael laughed as he was asked about his son attending the Christmas Day game between the Nuggets and the Suns.
“It’s exciting,” he continued. “Especially now that he’s here, going to school at the University of Colorado. A big part of it was just to come and participate and watch this game.”
It was Javon’s second time this season getting to see his dad coach on the sidelines at a Nuggets-Suns game. “It was cool just being able to see him and watch him do his job and do what he loves and I mean I love watching basketball so it was fun.”
Every time Coach Ruffin comes back to Denver, it’s like a mini homecoming. He owned the Colorado courts on his way to winning the 1995 5A State Championship with the Cherry Creek Bruins. Javon says he was getting asked about his dad a lot.
“I probably had at least three or four people come up to me today. They’re like ‘oh I loved watching your dad play. I played against him in high school.’ He was a legend around here. I promise you the people remember him.”
And dad remembers teaching the game to his young son here in Denver, ‘We would always go to Colorado Athletic Club - Monaco. Seeing all of this come together kind of back where all of his career started, it’s kind of nostalgic.”
A full circle, Christmas Day Moment, for Coach Ruffin and his boy., “No matter if he’s battling injuries, or if he’s hitting game winners, I’m still gonna be by his side, I’m still gonna be rooting for him,” Javon’s father stated proudly.
And Javon agreed, “Family is everything like I know no matter how I’m playing, good game, bad game, not playing at all, whether he wins or loses, I know he’s always there for me. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”