By Jeff Holt
Published in The Burg July 29, 2021
Several people in the Galesburg area hear the name of Danny Perez and think of him as a pretty good golfer. Others remember him as a 1991 Galesburg High School graduate. Or, the younger brother of Jesse and Tony.
But the last couple of years, Danny and his family have become big fans of the Milwaukee Bucks. It's been a natural fit. His wife, Katie, has family who live in Milwaukee and their son (Cooper) has become hooked on the Bucks.
Recently, the Perez family has been on Cloud Nine after the Bucks won their first NBA title since 1971. The neat thing is that they have seen the Milwaukee Bucks team evolve into a championship team the past couple of years.
"It all started out when our son Cooper started playing basketball at age 9," said Danny. "Once he started playing he started watching it on TV. He really liked watching Steph Curry. Katie and I thought it would be cool for Cooper to see Curry play in person. So I started looking for tickets. The cheapest tickets we could find were against the Bucks. One Bucks game is all it took. The atmosphere is pretty cool. They have a DJ as you walk in Fiserv getting everyone pumped up for the game."
You can't blame them for not paying the outlandish prices of Game 6 in Milwaukee. You can bet that they'll be attending several Bucks games in the future. Remember, like Danny says, it's "just" a 3 1/2 hour drive each way to see the Bucks play.
Danny took some time to reflect on some questions about the recent Bucks frenzy in the Perez household.
Q: You mentioned that your son, Cooper, got to help the Bucks team during warmups before a game. How did that happen and what do you remember from it?
DANNY: Probably one of our favorite memories would be when the Lakers were in town. We always show up when the doors open up. Which is an hour and a half before game time. This way we can see some of the players work out and do drills. While we were watching some of the guys do their drills we were approached by one of the team owners. He asked if Cooper would like to go down and sit on the sideline when the team comes out and warms up. (He) also asked Cooper if he would like to go out on the court and high five each player as they are announced and run out onto the court. What a once in a lifetime experience!
Q: I'm sure you and your family would have loved to of been there on Tuesday night when the Bucks won the whole thing at home in Milwaukee. What was it like for you and your family on Tuesday night when the Bucks won it all?
DANNY: It would have been nice to be there Tuesday night. For the experience but we were just in Milwaukee the week before for a game. And for the playoff games. The crowds outside during and after the game kept getting bigger with each game. There was a big police presence and felt pretty safe but who knows winning a championship some people get crazy. And it was nice to be able to watch the interviews after the game. We thought about going and watching the game one the jumbo screens they had set up in several locations. But when hotel rooms downtown were going for around $700 for the night it was an easy decision to stay home. Usually the rooms go for around $200 a night.
Q: If someone had never been to a Bucks home game, what would you say to them?
DANNY: I would say if you get a chance to go to a Bucks game GO! If you don’t have a good time it's on you.. Just joking.. It's hard to tell someone that they will enjoy it. I know we enjoy it. We enjoy being together. We enjoy all the little things we do leading up to the game, during the game, and after the game. Milwaukee is such a great city. There are so many cool parts of the city. A Bucks game experience is a good time in itself.
Q: What did you enjoy about watching this Milwaukee Bucks team this year?
DANNY: We started off the season just trying to get to know some of the new players. The last two or three years the team didn’t change much. When they traded some of the players we liked our first reaction was like what! So it took some getting used to. Katie and Cooper are the ones that know the players. They know more about the players history and background. Their regular season record wasn’t as good as last year. So the season started out a little iffy.
Q: Can you talk about the best seats you have ever had at a Bucks game?
DANNY: I don’t think there's a bad seat at a Bucks game. If Steph Curry or KD is in town it's not a bad idea to look for seats where the visiting team comes out of the locker room or behind their bench. We’ve been as close as the second row. At least once in my life I would like floor seats. There will have to be three of them because I’m not doing it without my crew Katie and Cooper!
Q: Is there anything that you (or Cooper) wants to say about the Bucks winning it all?
DANNY: Its been fun watching the Bucks build up to a championship. The last 3 years watching them get closer and closer. For Cooper to see that you don’t need all the great players on one team to be successful was awesome. And for him to see free throws really do win ball games!
Q: Your wife also has some family in Milwaukee. Can you elaborate on that?
DANNY: Katie’s brother Rob lives in Milwaukee as well as our niece Camille and our nephew Graehem. One of our favorite things is to get together with them after a game or concert. One of Cooper’s favorite memories is meeting Uncle Rob at Osars (an actual neighborhood bar and grill) for burgers n fries after we attended Cooper’s first Old 97’s concert.
Q: How much were the tickets going for on championship night and the motel rates?
DANNY: Game 6 ticket prices were crazy expensive! $1,000 for standing room only ticket.. For a ticket in the area (where) we usually sit were going for as much as $7,000! During the regular season, seats go anywhere from $30 to $500. It also depends on who the Bucks are playing.
Q: What is your favorite food at a Bucks home game (or in Milwaukee)?
DANNY: If there’s anything this family knows about it is where to eat! There are a lot of cool places to eat in Milwaukee. It all depends on what you’re in the mood for. One of our favorite things to do after a Bucks game is to grab a slice of pizza from 3 Brick pizza which is just a one block walk from the stadium. One thing I do know is walking over to the food trucks on Water Street can get a little sketchy around midnight with your family! At least Katie and Cooper think it's a little sketchy. The food at the Bucks games is pretty good. As well as the Brewer games. There are plenty of choices as well.