You’re known for both your incredible skill, and your incredible fans. How do you show your appreciation for your fans off the court?

I love connecting with the fans. I appreciate their support. They send words of encouragement, “headband” nation tweets and posts to Instagram when they get their headbands. I am proud of followers when they accomplish something and send a note saying that I motivated them or seeing my dedication to my sport has inspired them in so many different ways.

A STRONG CONNECTION: "Fans support through the good and the bad. There’s a special connection and feeling you get from fans that just cannot be replaced."

I love seeing fans after the games, I love highlighting and showcasing their amazing achievements on my social platforms. I love visiting schools and basketball camps. I really enjoy just hanging and getting to know all types of people. 

What is the fan story that has affected you the most?

A little boy in Tulsa comes to a lot of my games. His mom mentioned that he almost wasn’t allowed to come because of his grades. So I made him a deal, if he raised his grades, I would give him a pair of sneakers. After some time, I came to a game and there were some papers on my chair. It was the kid’s school work. He had raised his grades to all As and Bs. I know he wanted those sneakers, but I was touched that he really took the time to get all his teachers to sign his work. He put in that effort, not just for the shoes, but to show that he could work hard. He probably didn’t even know how well he could do in school until then. I just want to keep motivating people to do things that they don’t even realize they can accomplish.

Why is fan appreciation so important to you?

You have to appreciate everyone that touches your life. Fans support through the good and the bad—we do it for the love—there’s a special connection and feeling you get from fans that just cannot be replaced.