Local child athletes shop with NY Liberty star
DiDi Richards, DICK’S treat children to shopping spree
By Jessica Meditz
Young basketball players had the experience of a lifetime shopping for sports gear with one of their favorite athletes — just in time for the holiday season.
Last Wednesday, DICK’S Sporting Goods’ Glendale location at 73-25 Woodhaven Boulevard was filled with cheer as the young female athletes joined forces with New York Liberty shooting guard DiDi Richards.
Richards served as the girls’ personal shopping consultant for the evening, as they were provided with $150 DICK’S gift cards through a partnership with Grow Our Game, where the young athletes practice their sport.
“Part of our season during the holidays is giving children and underserved communities the opportunity to shop with professional athletes,” said Chris Milton, community marketing manager for DICK’S Sporting Goods. “It’s just something to make the season a little extra special and to give back to the community around the store.”
Milton explained that DICK’S has an established relationship with the WNBA, and a similar event was put on during the summer where the team was introduced to Grow Our Game, which strives to help young girls develop leadership skills, confidence, passion and sisterhood through the sport of basketball.
All of their programs remain free and open to all girls throughout New York City.
“We thought it’d be the perfect fit,” Milton continued.
The athletes beamed with excitement when Richards arrived, and they quickly began browsing the store’s selection of shoes, clothing and sports equipment with their role model.
Originally from Texas, Richards, 23, was proud to come to Queens to spend quality time with young locals who look up to her and the sport she plays.
“It’s super exciting to see little kids who want to be in sport because I wasn’t one of the little girls that wanted to be,” she said. “So if I can influence any little girl to be excited to play the sport of basketball, that’s what I want to do.”
Richards also enjoys helping her young fans to establish their own personal style, and be able to influence them in that way.
One mom from Brooklyn, named Taisha, said her daughter, Tahani, was thrilled to be a part of the event.
Tahani is five years old, and was introduced to Grow Our Game at age three — allowing her to discover her passion at such a young age.
“She loves basketball…she knows who DiDi is. So I felt it was so important for Tahani to meet her, and kind of normalize the fact that she sees her on TV and actually comes into the community to do these things with little girls who look up to her,” Taisha said.