Hundreds of kids and their families and friends packed the courts of Children’s Aid Dunlevy Milbank Center in sunny New York City SAturday. They were there to watch some of the best athletes from Baby Dunk, a program for kids ages 10-16 that promotes sports and physical activity, show off their skills.
The event was hosted by Jordan Brand and brought the community together to celebrate basketball and to reveal the new Air Jordan XXXIV. With music from a live DJ playing in the background, the crowd was treated to the acrobatics and athleticism of the next generation of streetballers. Even Caleb McLaughlin, star of Stranger Things, was there and seemed happy to be part of the fun.
If the day had ended there, many would have thought of it as awesome. But at one point the music stopped and three of professional basketball’s most electrifying young players showed up to surprise their fans: the New Orleans Pelicans’ center Zion Williamson and New York Liberty stars Kia Nurse and Asia Durr.
Nurse and Durr were met with loud applause as they walked on to the court. They took the microphone to encourage the kids to keep working hard towards their goals and to enjoy the game they love.
“It feels so great to be here and to be part of the Jordan family,” Durr said to this SI Kids Kid Reporter. “It’s fun for us to watch the kids play today and see the culture of basketball come to life here.”
When asked about how it feels to be a role model to many of the boys and girls in attendance, Nurse said, “We are so fortunate to be with the kids today. It is one of the most important responsibilities we have as athletes. It’s also so rewarding to be able to help these kids fall in love with a sport.”
They were followed on to the court by Williamson, who showed off his own signature dunk. In quick succession, he leaped three feet off the ground, windmilled the basketball under his left foot and dunked high above the cheering kids in West Harlem. It was the type of move that helped make the 6-foot-7 former Duke Blue Devil the first-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
After the event, asked what his favorite emoji is, Williamson didn’t hesitate when he said, “the strong arm.” With dunks like the one Williamson did today, it was easy to see why.