Atlanta Dream guard Brittney Sykes led her team with 15 points in a home loss to the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday night. Afterward, Sykes presented her autographed, game-used sneakers to a certain superfan.
(As an aside, one of my very favorite microgenres of sports videos is where kids meet an idol or get an autograph, but because their still-forming child brains are so overloaded with positive emotion, some wires cross and it manifests as tears. I can’t get enough of these.)
Sykes did not pick out 9-year-old Mya Danielle Nelson at random. Oh no, Sykes already knew Nelson by ear.
“She is 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.”
Nelson and her younger sister are at most Dream home games, their mother told HuffPost, and her stepmother and godmother are season-ticket holders. Nelson’s also a basketball player, though she says none of her female classmates are into it. Mya’s not buying that. “She said, ‘Girls can play basketball just like the boys—and sometimes even better than the boys,’” her mom relayed. Now Mya’s got some new game shoes, so I guess she’s not allowed to stop playing until she grows into them.