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March 22, 2021 12:00 pm
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Charles Barkley ‘Had a Blast’ Being Lifted on a Chair at His Daughter’s Jewish Wedding Despite Initial Worries

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Charles Barkley reporting live from the 2019 NBA Finals. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkely was initially concerned about being lifted up on a chair at his daughter’s Jewish wedding, but his daughter said the Jewish tradition went off without a hitch.

Christiana Barkley, 31, told The New York Times that her father lost “a good amount” of weight before the wedding because he feared guests would not be able to pick him up on a chair but even so, “he was still very concerned.”

“He said, ‘I think it’s possible someone’s going to try and lift me up and they’ll get hurt, or I’ll get hurt.’ He really was scared,” Christiana remembered. “But he got in the chair, and next thing you know he and my mom were up there. They had a blast.”

On March 6, Christiana — director of writing and senior account manager at the college consulting company Koppelman Group — married Jewish entrepreneur Ilya Hoffman, 34, who is the founder of DemandByte, a marketing technology company in New York. Their traditional Jewish wedding at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows in Scottsdale, Ariz., included the signing of a ketubah (marriage contract), the bestowing of seven blessings and Hoffman stomping on a glass cup. The ceremony took place under a chuppah and was officiated by a rabbi.

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Charles, now a television analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” said “It was the best weekend of my life.”

The Times wedding coverage also mentioned a story from Christiana’s first visit to Hoffman’s family home in Port Washington, NY, during which she won points with the family by asking his grandmother, Tamara Koliskor, for a second serving of matzo ball soup. Koliskor said about Christiana, “She’s a very grateful girl, and she does love matzo ball soup. It’s impossible not to love her.”

Koffman added, “My grandmother is an old-school Russian Jew who’s hard to win over, but now I think she loves Christy more than my brother and me.”

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