While 2020 was a challenging year for all, it provided the perfect opportunity for Alayna and Levi to reconnect and kindle their love after 13 years apart. As Levi was busy working in the DC area when the pandemic began, and Alayna had started her new job with Cisco in Raleigh, the odds were unlikely for them to reconnect. While Levi lamented many months of sitting in his apartment alone in DC, he decided it was time to leave the city. He would move back to North Carolina to be around family for the summer and enjoy the opportunity to work remotely. Once relocated, and late one night perusing social media, he realized quickly that the girl he once had a huge crush on (in spite of her hairstyle and noted affinity for dressing in basketball shorts) was single. He decided it was too perfect of an opportunity, and asked her out for a glass of wine on a rainy summer evening. What followed was a magical night in downtown Durham where the two shared a bottle of Rosé at a local wine shop as Levi explained how he should have asked her out many years ago! He recalled an afternoon of going to Alayna’s childhood home and working on a school project together while in High School. Alayna was amazed as he rattled off vivid details about the home and the silver SUV she drove him home in (her mother Andrea's car)! It was an important moment for Levi because he had planned to ask her out at the time but was too shy to actually go through with it. Once dating, Alayna and Levi both agreed it was probably for the best that their first date came many years later. After reminiscing about the way they used to chirp each other over college basketball growing up, the pair ended their first date with a nightcap at MotorCo Brewery. It was here that Alayna finally had the liquid courage to confide that she too had always had a little thing for the cute Hungarian kid with the great sneakers. That night, Alayna called her mom and her best friend, Sanaz, to tell them she "just went on the best first date of her life." What followed was a whirlwind courtship centered around quarantine dates at home in both Durham and Wilmington, and quality time with friends and family that were incredibly supportive of the relationship. Who knew that these two high school sweethearts would finally find each other after each had their fair share of romantic missteps in the past? Even though Levi knew after that first date that Alayna was the one, a year and a half later he employed his brother Loci and his sister-in-law Jenny to pull off the proposal of a lifetime in the town that brought the pair together almost 20 years ago. Levi had reached out to both of their families, asked for Alayna’s hand in marriage, and planned out an elaborate engagement party for the night with their joint families at the Carolina Inn. As they pulled up to the Inn, the jig was almost up as the young valet at the hotel adamantly asked Levi which event they were there for that night - the wedding or the surprise engagement party! As Levi shooed him away, he was trying desperately for Alayna to not get a glimpse of the giant ring box in his back pocket. Luckily, aside from her need to use the restroom (surprise, surprise), Alayna was none the wiser as Levi guided her away from the Carolina Inn to the Coker Arboretum on UNC’s campus. Once they arrived in the perfect place in the middle of the gardens, Levi got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Despite their respective love for very different shades of blue when it comes to college basketball, Alayna and Levi’s love is one for the books - reconnecting after many years apart, and finding and falling in love with "their person" in the middle of a global pandemic. They are excited to celebrate their love and upcoming marriage together with friends and family on the coast - November 5th, 2022 in Wilmington, NC!