SALTILLO, Mex. -- It's not every day that kids in Saltillo, Mexico -- an industrial city nestled in Northern Mexico -- get to meet NBA players. So, for those who got tickets to Juan Toscano-Anderson's basketball camp, it was a jaw-dropping experience.
But for Alan Mauricio Torres Castellanos, a 16-year-old camper from Tabasco, Mexico, the experience quickly became a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Castellanos and his father, Carlos Mauricio Torres Perez, drove for 18 hours to make Toscano-Anderson's camp. Add another 18 hours for the ride back home, and the two will have traveled about 36 hours just so Castellanos could meet his idol.
As he put it, basketball is his life.
Toscano-Anderson took notice of Castellanos' skill on the court, and once he heard the trek the father and son took to get to camp, Toscano-Anderson decided he would help them out to get to his next one.
Toscano-Anderson told Castellanos and Perez that he would pay for their plane tickets and registration for his next camp session in Cancun, happening in just three days. At first, Castellanos didn't believe him.
He nodded his head and shook Toscano's hand as he received the information. But it wasn't until a few seconds later that the news really hit him.
He was elated. He walked paced around the basketball as he processed the news, and his father was just as shell-shocked. This is what he dreamt of for his son.
As soon as Perez found out Toscano-Anderson would be hosting the camp in Saltillo, he worked on getting his son a ticket. It's always been his goal to set his son up for a better future than he had.
So they piled into their car and drove from Tabasco to meet Toscano-Anderson -- the only Mexican player in the NBA and Castellanos' idol.
It's a long drive. But it was well worth it. And after they drive back, Castellanos will head off on his next adventure, courtesy of the person he looks up to the most.