'Obviously, I said yes': Harper helps out with promposal

May 22nd, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- Sometimes a "promposal" is a massive undertaking that requires weeks of detailed planning before an elaborate execution.

Other times, you just need .

That was the case on Monday night for Jake Portella, a student at Haddonfield Memorial High School in New Jersey. Jake knew who he wanted to ask to his prom next month, but he was still kicking around some ideas.

"I've been brainstorming ideas for prom for a couple weeks and I knew I wanted to do something Phillies-themed because she loves the Phillies so much," Jake said. "I was talking to one of my friends and I was like, 'There's some Phillies players who live in town, it'd be cool if I could get one of them to help me with it.'"

That's when he decided to take the biggest swing of his life.

The high school senior went and knocked on Harper's door. Jake explained the situation and asked Harper if he would be willing to do anything -- make a short video, perhaps -- to help him out with his promposal, which he wasn't planning on doing for a couple of days still.

After all, Jake still needed to make the traditional "Will you go to prom with me?" poster. Harper initially took down Jake's email and said he'd see what he could do.

"Then, as I was leaving, he calls me back and he's like, 'What if we just did it right now?'" Jake said. "And I was like, 'Forget the poster. I don't think the poster matters if I get Bryce Harper to do it with me.'"

He was right.

"Obviously, I said yes," said Giulia Leonetti.

In place of a poster, Jake stood next to Harper on Giulia's front step as the Phillies superstar delivered the message for him: "Hi Giulia. Jake wants to ask you to prom, so I thought I'd help him out."

Clearly stunned, Giulia took a moment before finally answering, then hugging both.

"I just -- oh my god. Bryce Harper. That was the only thing going through my head," Giulia said of her reaction when she opened the door. "I was just absolutely freaking out. I mean, this guy is the chosen one. I was just hysterical, immediately started crying. I just couldn't believe he was really there in front of me."

Jake admitted he had no idea what to expect when he mustered up the courage to ask Harper.

"But I definitely never expected that," he said.

"Just helping a brother out, man," Harper said after hitting a home run in the Phillies' 5-2 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.

Bryce Harper stands with the happy couple, Jake Portella and Giulia Leonetti.(Courtesy Matt Portella)

It's not often that your favorite player shows up on your doorstep to ask you a question.

"I feel like, if you're a Phillies fan, Bryce is automatically your No. 1," Giulia said. "There's no way he can't be. I definitely have some close ones. I absolutely love J.T. [Realmuto], [Alec] Bohm is really hot right now -- but Bryce is just so incredible."

Tuesday was a whirlwind for the prom-bound pair, who spent the day fielding phone calls, doing interviews and trying to keep up with all the texts from their friends and family members. Meanwhile, the video went viral on social media, even catching the eye of Phillies manager Rob Thomson.

Thomson summed it up simply with a smile: "It was cute."