Tiny fan finds basketball buddy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WLEX/NBC News) – One young University of Kentucky fan has formed a special bond with basketball player Derek Willis and his fiance Keely Potts.

Zach Pickard is one of only 17 people in the Unites States with the genetic disorder Progeria. He is the only one in Kentucky with it.

Progeria is often called the aging disease. Potts happened to stumble upon his story and reached out to the Pickards.

“Keely has a soft spot in her heart for special children and I think it rubbed off on Derek,” said Zach’s mother Tina.

Potts and Willis became friends with Zach Pickard.

“It’s just kind of fun to see them together, the difference in sizes,” said Tina. “When he (Derek) comes over he sits in the floor and takes up the whole floor.”

When Willis and Potts started planning their wedding, they chose Zach to serve as their ring bearer.