Washington Wizards guard John Wall couldn’t make it through a post-game interview on Monday night due to the fact that a six-year-old friend of his had lost her battle with cancer just hours before.
Miyah Telemaque-Nelson was befriended by Wall last year, when the NBA start arranged for her to meet pop star Nicki Minaj in order to obtain one of her pink wigs to wear.
Wall met Telemaque-Nelson last March, five months after she was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma.
According to CSN Washington, Wall had been writing the little girl’s name on his shoes all season and had communicated with her as recently as two weeks ago via FaceTime, the team said.
— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 9, 2014
Following a upset over the Boston Celtics in double overtime, in which Wall scored 26 points and had 17 assists, he had a hard time keeping his emotions in check when asked about little Miyah.
“This is an emotional game for me… this is for Miyah, one of my close friends that I lost, that I met last year,” he began. “It’s just tough, you know, to see a little kids fight so hard for cancer and can’t beat it… this game’s for her.”
“My jersey, my shorts, I’m gonna give them to her family,” he added. “It’s a tough day for me, and I was really quiet today, so…”
When asked by the reporter if Miyah really touched his heart, all Wall could do was shake his head, bend over and cry before walking off the court.
Wall received the news of Miyah’s death in a text message just hours before the game.
“I just went into a mode where I didn’t want to lose this game,” he told ESPN.
Coach Randy Wittman said of Wall, “It was a tough day for him. I thought he handled it well, but he was hurting at the end.”
Prior to the game, a moment to remember the six-year-old was held.
Following the game, he took to Twitter to pay tribute to little Miyah.
— John Wall (@JohnWall) December 9, 2014