Regina King has thanked basketball player Joel Embiid for his "athletic abilities" after he narrowly avoided trampling her during a game on Wednesday night (13Feb19).
The If Beale Street Could Talk actress was sitting courtside to watch Joel's team, the Philadelphia 76ers, take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York when the sportsman headed her way at full pelt trying to stop the ball from going out of bounds.
As he launched his seven-foot frame into the stands after the ball, Joel missed Regina by centimetres - with a video showing just how close a call it was. In the clip, Regina is seen looking stunned and raising her arms to protect herself as the 24-year-old player grazes her high bun, and crashes into statistician Dave Fried, who was working next to commentator Mike Breen.
After presenter Rob Perez shared the video on Twitter with the caption "Regina King's life just flashed before her eyes", the Oscar-nominated actress replied: "Yoooo. Thank you God and @JoelEmbiid for your athletic abilities. Crisis averted."
In an interview after the game, which the 76ers won 126-111, Joel apologised to Dave, who was uninjured in the collision, and told him: "First of all, I shouldn't have done that. But this is the game. I think at that point we were up by 15 or so, and maybe next time I do that I shouldn't try to land with my feet first, but I'm so sorry."
And asked what he was thinking when he saw Joel coming towards him feet first, Dave added: "As soon as he was coming I said, 'Oh no!' You know, there was nothing I could do. And it hurt for a second but he made sure to miss Regina King - which was pretty good on his part! But I'm OK."
The interview also showed another angle of the collision, with Regina seen getting a hug from her friend after the near miss and patting her hair to make sure it was all still tied up as she reflected on the narrow call.