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Meet the man who fist bumps every Nugget

Nicholas Owens started working for the Nuggets when he was 13. Then he got every fan's dream job.

DENVER — Nicholas Owens has every Nuggets fan’s dream job and has been working in that position since he was 13 years old.

Owens, who was diagnosed with spina bifida, was a Children’s Hospital kid ambassador in the 1990s. As part of his ambassador duties, he got to meet a couple of Denver Nuggets who came to the hospital.

“One of my favorites was Dikembe Mutombo,” he recalls. “At the time, I was in forearm crutches. And I looked up at Dikembe and I asked him…can I walk between your legs? And I walked right between his legs. I didn’t duck or anything. That guy was huge.”

Owens says his love for the Denver Nuggets exploded from that moment. He started attending more games. And when he was 13, he got an offer he couldn’t pass up.

“They said to me … how would you like to work for the Nuggets,” he said. “I was like Are you serious?”

The team was. Owens started his career with the Nuggets delivering stat sheets to suites around the arena during games. After a little while, he was promoted to a position delivering tickets that players wanted to gift their families to the box office.

>See Steve Staeger's full interview with Nicholas Owens.

Then he got a dream promotion.

“My boss said to me Nick…we just want you in the locker room trying to inspire the guys to get moving,” he said.

He’s been there ever since. Before and after nearly every game, Owens is in the locker room helping fire up the players. He watches game film with them. The coaches ask him for advice.

“I’m in the locker room every night just going around and giving them fist bumps,” he said. “I’m just trying to inspire the guys and just be in there for support and just trying to be there.”

Over the years, Owens has developed close friendships with players. So much so, players who’ve left the Nuggets would often ask to see him when they came to town to play the Nuggets.

One of his closest relationships has been with Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. While all the players fist bump Owens, he says Malone goes a step further.

“He gives me this huge bear hug after games,” Owens said. “I think both of us are just so emotional because we’re doing so good this season.”

Nicholas’ father, Sherwood Owens, recalls one game a few seasons ago when he and Nicholas had to leave a late game early because Sherwood had to work early the next day.

“And so we left and then about two in the morning I get a text from Coach Malone going…is Nicholas okay,” Sherwood Owens said. “That speaks volumes in terms of family…and caring for others. He didn’t have to do that…nobody does.”



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