Playoffs are right around the corner.
For all teams in the top eight in their respective conferences, there is one common goal: win an NBA championship.
It’s been the goal from day one of the NBA season, but now teams can begin to taste the sweet champagne spraying all over the locker room.
As a result, mental strength and the competitive spirit must be at an all-time high. Only the peaking teams go far during this time of year.
However, one team changed its energy this week, putting aside the “no distractions, anything to win” attitude to increase the spirits of a 10-year-old girl.
Giving Amaris Jackson the opportunity to achieve her dream, the Washington Wizards signed the young girl to a one-day contract yesterday. Jackson becomes the youngest player in NBA history.
Jackson suffers from a rare type of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma and will need to undergo surgery soon to remove a tumor in her lungs. The Make-A-Wish Foundation makes her dream of becoming a professional basketball player a reality.
Looking like a small flower in a redwood forest, Jackson was excited and involved the entire day. She went to shootaround, was in the locker room and led the way when the team was introduced onto the court.
For such a young player, Jackson showed plenty of confidence, not backing down the entire day. Players joked with her and spent extra time shooting with her after shootaround. They helped her dunk.
John Wall, Jackson’s favorite player, held an individual workout with her and she was introduced as part of the “starting six” that night at the game.
In a world where NBA players can seem untouchable, making millions of dollars, the players on the Wizards were brought back down to earth. They are people and they have hearts.
We all know about NBA Cares, the league’s volunteer program, but that doesn’t mean the players want to be involved or show immense pleasure while doing it. That didn’t seem to be the case yesterday.
In the end, Washington did beat Milwaukee last night, but the Wizards gave a new perspective to fans and showed a different motivation for winning that night.