Arizona boy’s heartbreaking birthday party prompts surprise invite from Phoenix Suns
Little Teddy Mazzini’s sixth birthday went from foul to slam dunk.
After 32 classmates stiffed the youngster at his celebratory Sunday pizza party, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns invited Teddy to kick up his heels at their place — the 18,422-capacity Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Even better: The home team will host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers when Teddy attends his first-ever NBA contest.
“How about we celebrate with thousands at our place!” the Suns tweeted. “Tickets to Wednesday’s #SunsVSLakers game are all yours Teddy! Talk soon!”
The youngster was also invited to an upcoming Phoenix Rising FC soccer match.
The outpouring of good birthday will came after the little boy’s mom, Sil Mazzini, shared a photo with a local TV reporter of Teddy sitting alone at the table after all his classmates skipped Sunday’s festivities, according to KNXV-TV in Arizona.
“I’m done with parties for a while,” the kindergartner’s mother said of the no-show soiree at the Peter Piper Pizza restaurant.in Tuscon, Ariz.
Social media soon came to the rescue. Arizona reporter Nick Vinzant then shared her photo of lonesome Teddy sitting alone.
“If you get a chance please wish Teddy a Happy Birthday,” Vinzant wrote in a Facebook post. “His mom sent me this after his friends weren’t able to make it to his birthday party.”
The photo was soon shared and reported by other news outlets — leading to the generous offer from the Suns. The Wednesday night tilt against the Lakers will be Teddy’s first in-person visit to an NBA game.
The support of Teddy was accompanied by a bit of a backlash as haters questioned where mom Sil Mazzini lied about what happened.
A woman named Raven commented on Fox 32 Chicago’s Facebook page, claiming her little cousin went to Teddy’s party. She thinks “they must have taken this picture before everyone arrived.” And Sylthenia N’Faera took to social media to suggest the mom wasn’t much of a role model.
“If the mother is lying, she is setting an awful example for the child, AND, she should be made to pay back anything she received from this stunt,” said N’Faera. “If she isn’t lying, then there’s gotta be something else at work here — is the child disliked? Was there another event going on, at the same time?”
Others feel Mazzini shouldn’t have shared her son’s photo in the first place.
“It’s called R.S.V.P.... Get a head count before wasting money,” offered Facebook user Jay Ray. “After that, it is what it is. Life happens. Don’t make him feel sorry for himself by posting him on the internet with a sad face for your personal gain. Empower him and turn the day around.”
Poster Summer Davis said she could feel Teddy’s pain.
“It is the sole reason why I do not hold birthday parties for my kids,” she wrote. “We go and make memories instead.”