If somebody handed you their sweaty sneakers after a exercise, you in all probability wouldn’t be so thrilled. However that’s as a result of they’re not Atlanta Dream guard Brittney Sykes, and also you’re not 9-year-old Mya Danielle Nelson.
The Dream, one of many WNBA’s 12 groups, confronted off in opposition to the defending champion Seattle Storm on Thursday night time in Atlanta. The house staff got here up brief, shedding 82-66, however after the sport, Sykes singled out Nelson within the crowd and introduced her together with her autographed game-worn kicks.
The younger fan instantly broke out into an enormous smile when she noticed Sykes waving at her. However when she realized Sykes was giving her the footwear, Nelson threw her arms across the Dream guard’s neck for a hug and burst into pleased tears. “I love you!” she instructed Sykes, who returned the sentiment.
Nelson has been a fan of the Dream for about 5 years, her mom, Michelle, instructed HuffPost in an electronic mail. Michelle’s mother-in-law and godmother are each season ticket holders, in order that they usually take Mya and her 6-year-old sister, Maci, to Dream video games. The ladies go to about 12 of the staff’s 17 dwelling video games every season, Michelle stated.
In a clip shared by the WNBA’s #WNBAKicks account on Twitter, Sykes stated that Nelson stands out as a result of she’s “the loudest kid in the gym. You’re shooting a free throw, and she’s like, ‘Yeah, you’ve got it, guys! Give me another one!’ And it’s like — you can’t ignore it. … She’s the biggest supporter.”
Michelle instructed HuffPost that her daughter’s love even extends to the staff’s mascot, Star, who’s the ladies’ “best buddy.” She added that Nelson doesn’t have one favourite participant on the Dream, although along with Sykes she admires All-Star guard Tiffany Hayes and veteran ahead Angel McCoughtry.
The WNBA shared a clip of Nelson proper after she acquired Sykes’ sneakers, and the beaming 9-year-old spit some sensible truths relating to gender bias in sports activities whereas clutching her new kicks. “At my school, sometimes girls get bullied about how they can’t play basketball with the boys. I play … and I have a really fun time,” she stated. “I think that all of these young women are very good at sports.”
Michelle famous that her daughter is commonly the one woman who performs as a result of the opposite ladies don’t assume it’s female sufficient. “She said, ‘Girls can play basketball just like the boys — and sometimes even better than the boys,’” Michelle stated, quoting her daughter.
Sykes said in the WNBA’s video that she needs to start out doing extra giveaways to “superfans” like Nelson. “That’s one of the reasons why I play,” Sykes defined. “Whether she plays basketball or not, for her to just love women’s sports is huge. She’s our next generation.”
As for the prized footwear? It’s presently stashed away in Nelson’s bed room, Michelle stated, till the household can get a correct show case for them. “She said she doesn’t want anything to happen to her new ‘babies.’”
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