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Monday, December 17, 2012
Trending: Fan asks Gabby Douglas to prom

By Bill Speros
Special to ESPN.com



When it comes to his senior prom date, Leon Purvis is going for the gold -- as in two-time Olympic gold-medal winning gymnast Gabrielle Douglas.

Purvis, 17, posted a You Tube video last week asking Douglas to be his date for the May 31 Glassboro (N.J.) High School senior prom.

In June 2011, Purvis produced and posted a video on You Tube asking Justin Bieber to go with him as a "bro" date to his June 2012 junior prom. Bieber never replied, so Purvis took a life-sized $42 cardboard cutout of the pop sensation -- along with a real-life female friend -- as dates.

Eventually, Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, caught wind of the story (the YouTube video has more than 150,000 views and Purvis' tale received local and national media coverage) and gave Purvis front-row seats and backstage passes to Bieber's concert last Nov. 4 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

@jpmay3 have a good prom buddy. nj.com/gloucester-cou… - just one thing u dont know. u got two tix to the #BelieveTour now :)

— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) June 3, 2012
Purvis and a friend had a quick meet-and-greet with Bieber, got a photo with the star and a coveted mention on Bieber's No. 1-in-the-world Twitter feed @JustinBieber (31.5 million followers and climbing) -- that earned @LeonPurvis 6,000 followers in just a few days. He now has more than 40,000.

Bieber
Leon Purvis met his idol, Justin Bieber, and now has another request.

@leonpurvis never say never bro. good meeting u. enjoy the show

— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 5, 2012


"It was very surreal," Purvis told Playbook Sunday. "At that moment, I was like 'Wow, it was actually happening.' He's my idol."

Or at least until the 2012 Summer Olympics, when Douglas' performance caught Purvis' attention.

"She was close to my age and did gymnastics and won two gold medals," Purvis said. Douglas, who turns 17 on Dec. 31, appeared on Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2012" last week and recently released her autobiography "Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith."

"When I was watching Barbara Walters, which I watch every year, Barbara asked her if she would like some guy to ask you to his prom. And she said 'yes.'" Purvis said. "When I heard that, I was a like, 'Hey, why not do it,' and give her the chance to go to the prom. I'm hoping to get her to be the date to my senior prom."

Purvis vowed to take care of all the details if Douglas got back to him and said yes. His plans would include photos, a stop at promenade at the high school and more photos and hopeful selection to the prom court, the prom itself and, if Douglas was OK with it, post-prom parties.

"It will be a huge honor to take a two-time Olympic gold medalist to my prom. Her story is amazing. How she persevered and almost gave up to take a fast-food job," Purvis said. "I'll make plans to coordinate things. I will handle everything."

Last year, Purvis' first choice among his female classmates said no to his prom request. "This year Gabby is my first choice," he said. "All the girls will be the backup if she doesn't go." And he doesn't concede to having a cardboard cutout of Douglas on stand-by just in case, at least not yet.

Elsewhere:

• The NFL held a moment of silence before each of its 15 games Sunday and the New England Patriots wore special helmet stickers to honor the victims of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz connected with the family of one of the victims, Jack Pinto, 6, after his (@TeamVic) Twitter feed blew up with news that Pinto was a big fan. After contacting the family through his publicist and girlfriend, Elaina Watley, and speaking to them, Cruz honored Pinto before Sunday's loss to the Falcons and during the game by writing Pinto's name on his shoes.





From teamvic via Lockerz.

Bill Speros is an ESPN.COM contributor. He can be reached on Twitter @billsperos or via e-mail at bsperos1@gmail.com.