"I was just obsessed with him. I wanted to be a basketball god like him," said Irene Liao, who is now 20 years old.
They say a child's role model never quite leaves their side, which is why this 8-year-old carried a life-size cardboard cutout of basketball legend Michael Jordan everywhere she went.
"I was just obsessed with him. I wanted to be a basketball god like him," Irene Liao, now 20, told InsideEdition.com.
in the third grade i was obsessed with michael jordan so i carried a cardboard cutout of him around for a month pic.twitter.com/YaZ53Whbel— irene liao (@ireneliiao) September 19, 2016
Liao, who is originally from New York, said she moved to Taiwan in the third grade and quickly felt alone and out of place.
One day, she recalled being in a sporting goods store when she spotted a life-size cardboard cutout of NBA superstar Michael Jordan. Liao said she admired him after seeing several commercials he was featured in.
"I was like, 'I need to buy it,'" Liao recalled.
The employees tried to explain to her the cutout was not for sale, but her 8-year-old self was clearly not a force to be reckoned with.
She handed the employee the Taiwanese equivalent of $6, and dragged the 6-foot-6-inch cutout behind her tiny body. In the photos, Liao only appeared to come up to his waist.
"I took him everywhere," Liao recalled. "I took him to the mall, the supermarket, everything."
In photos uploaded to her Twitter, cardboard Michael Jordan held her hand as she rode the escalator, and accompanied her to Starbucks. He even watched over her as her grandfather taught her to play the piano.
my grandpa teaching me how to play piano so i can write a song to serenade mj pic.twitter.com/tRGD3DbsRl— irene liao (@ireneliiao) September 20, 2016
But, their friendship was short lived.
After weeks of bringing cardboard Michael Jordan to class and attempting to partner up with him on group assignments, Liao said her teacher sent her home with a note that said, "this is a very unhealthy phase."
Her parents eventually agreed, and retired the cardboard cutout.
"Honestly, I was a really weird kid," she admitted. "This was probably the least of it."