Home Feature From Basketball Rivals to a Red Hawk Romance: A Valentine’s Day Love Story

From Basketball Rivals to a Red Hawk Romance: A Valentine’s Day Love Story

by Montclarion Feature

In between taking classes and managing what is often a heavy schedule load, some students will come across their significant other at some point of their college career. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a spotlight story on a couple at Montclair State, who started as Student Recreation Center friends and become “Love Hawks.”

Sophomore year was when accounting major Kristina met her current boyfriend, Mihran Naltchayan. When she explained how the two met she spoke of how she was initially working out at the Student Rec Center, and afterward she headed over to the gym where she caught the eye of a group of guys, one of them being her current boo. Although she overheard the group of men talking about her, she decided to ignore them. That is, until one of them approached her.

“He came up to me and asked me to play basketball with them, presuming that my height of 6’1″ meant I knew the game,” Kristina said.

Once Kristina made a brutal comeback about her ability to dunk on the boys (even though she admitted she really can’t dunk but wanted to strike back with an insult), the crowd got hyped, including Naltchayan, who was a junior at the time.

However, he was not the man who initially stood out to her in the group. The guy she had her eye on was an egotistical jerk, according to Kristina, who said she did not fall for his charm. Fast-forward a week later, and she was playing basketball with current beau Naltchayan at the rec center court. The one-on-one match lasted from 8 p.m. until the rec’s closing at 1 a.m.

This story is a testament to the quote, “All’s fair in love and basketball.”

“I recognized him on Instagram and followed him after that game,” said Kristina. “We kind of developed a friendship and I was hesitant to jump out of the friend zone. But magically, 4 to 5 months later, I said ‘Let’s try it.'”

Although Kristina admitted that she didn’t find him attractive at first, she said she can’t keep her hands off him now. Naltchayan’s upgrade from friend zone to bae zone might have been a hesitant one, but the couple’s nearing their one year anniversary date should be enough to encourage more women to be more open.

Naltchayan, who will graduate this fall, is a business major. When asked what he enjoys most about being with Kristina, he said that he loves to fight over who pays the restaurant bill, as well as her sense of humor, work ethic, smile, intelligence, her butt and adventurous side. Kristina shared how she enjoys his surprises, like roses before a date starts, his personality and that he is family-oriented. One similarity that is shared between the two Red Hawks in love is their passion for football.

Kristina explained that she also likes arguing over sports with Naltchayan. “I am a die-hard Cowboys fan and he is a Jets fan,” she said. “We get along most of the time due to the fact we aren’t divisional rivals.”

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the “Love Hawks” wined and dined at a romantic restaurant called Cafe Archetypus, located in Edgewater, NJ. Kristina was then surprised with rose pedals in the shape of a heart, edible arrangement goodies and flowers.

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