LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kayla Pariser and her dad, Dave, were Bellarmine University season ticket holders. It was something they enjoyed doing together. When her dad unexpectedly passed away on January 14, Kayla's world was rocked.
Kayla was ready to go back to Knights Hall for Saturday's game against Kentucky Wesleyan. The day before, Kayla emailed Knights head coach Scotty Davenport.
"I emailed Coach Scotty yesterday just saying thank you for all the good memories that he had provided me with my dad," Kayla said. "I figured that the worst I would get was no response, and when he responded today and told me that he wanted me to come into the locker room after the game, I was just really excited, because I know that would just mean the world to my dad and it meant the world to me."
The Knights didn't just welcome Kayla into the locker room, they also had a special message for her. Davenport summoned seniors Chris Dowe and Jelani Johnson to break the news to Kayla.
"In honor of you and your dad, we have decided that we are going to wear his initials on our jerseys for the rest of the year," Dowe said.
Dave Pariser was a physical therapy professor at Bellarmine. His D.A.P. initials will adorn the Knights home uniforms starting with Thursday night's game against Indianapolis.
Kayla was honored.
"That just means a lot to me because I know my dad was a big fan and this Bellarmine basketball team meant a lot to him," said Kayla.
The gesture also provided Kayla a few seconds to get away from her grief.
"It helps a lot, any act of random kindness helps me get through day by day," Kayla added. "Any day that I can get through is an accomplishment"
Dave Pariser was 52. He is survived by his wife Gina, also a Bellarmine professor, and Kayla's twin sister, Ada.
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