Paper or Plastic? Bucks Surprise Customers at Metro Market

Despite all that he had to take in during his first NBA training camp, rookie John Henson still had one more lesson to learn – the eggs go on top when bagging groceries.

As part of the NBA’s “Paint the Town” initiative, members of the Milwaukee Bucks, along with the Energee! Dance Team and Bango, made a surprise appearance at the downtown Metro Market on Van Buren Street Monday evening to interact with customers and try their hand at the grocery business. 

Nearly the entire team was on deck to help employees during the store’s peak hours, with Henson and fellow rookie Doron Lamb bagging groceries at the check-out. 

 “You don’t put the eggs on the bottom, that’s one thing I learned,” Henson said. “I think Doron was more efficient, but my station was definitely more fun.”

Shoppers entering the store were greeted by Larry Sanders and Drew Gooden before receiving a caramel apple demo from Beno Udrih and a milk shake sample from Mike Dunleavy, who manned the coffee and gelato bar. Tobias Harris and Ekpe Udoh learned the art of cookie decorating in the bakery, while Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Marquis Daniels, Ersan Ilyasova, Joel Pryzbilla and Samuel Dalembert spent time behind the deli, meat and seafood counters.

Armed with a variety of samples, players also offered tasty tidbits to patrons as they shopped the aisles.

“It’s exciting to be here,” Dalembert said. “It’s always great to support the fans that show us support by coming to the games. It’s the least we can do. It is a beautiful super market and we’re just having fun and letting fans get to know us.”

Although just one stop on the Bucks’ tipoff week schedule, the trip to Metro Market has become an annual event.

“It’s been a tradition here to have the Bucks players come in, and our customers know to start looking for them around the end of October,” store director Elaine Van Portfliet said. “This time we decided to make things a little more interactive by having them do some sampling, which has actually translated to more sales for us. The customers enjoy having them here as much as we do, and it’s just a fun, busy afternoon.”

With a full slate of fan appreciation and community events scheduled, tipoff week will continue with activities such as a game watch party and free lunch at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.