As Washington jockeys for playoff positioning in the East, the Wizards got a big win over the lowly Bucks on Saturday, 104-91. But the team's postseason push took a deserved backseat to a new rookie on the roster: Amaris Jackson.
Amaris is a 10-year-old Wizards fan — and she's fighting a rare form of kidney cancer. She's gone through two months of chemotherapy and surgery, and has another operation scheduled this week to remove a lung tumor. But before the procedure, Amaris had the experience of a lifetime thanks to the Wizards and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Before Saturday's game, Amaris signed a one-day contract to be an official, uniformed member of the team. She hit the weight room with trainers and players, practiced her crossover skills with John Wall, and got to dunk during pre-game warm ups — with some help, of course. She got her own jersey (she wore number 10), was introduced with the team at the start of the game, and sat courtside with her parents in owner Ted Leosnis' seats.
“It was kind of a neat thing, not only for her, but it was kind of neat thing for our guys,” coach Randy Wittman told the Washington Post. “Our guys I think had a special moment with her. So, that’s always good, to make sure you never take your eyes off the big picture.”
The experience the Wizards gave Amaris was the feel-good sports story of the weekend — and it's what sports is all about. And the fact that Washington made one young girl's dream come true while gearing up for a playoff run makes it all the more impressive.
Here are a few more photos from Amaris' big night:
Check out more photos and a video of Amaris' time with the Wizards on the Monumental Network website.
Photos courtesy Monumental Network