Every time the Hornets play a home game, the Spectrum Center is filled with Kemba Walker fans. There are teal number 15 jerseys worn by grown men, children in All-Star shirts that honor the Hornets guard, and sometimes even a University of Connecticut jersey that pays tribute to the past that brought Walker to Charlotte.
Saturday’s game against New Orleans featured the regular group of dedicated Kemba Walker fans, and one special girl who came a long way to see her favorite player.
Alyson is a 15 year-old basketball fan who saw the Spectrum Center, and Kemba Walker, for the first time Saturday. Along with her mother and two brothers, she got a VIP tour of the Hornets facility before the game and was escorted to a seat along the baseline for pregame warmups.
Alyson traded in her gray shirt for the Kemba Walker jersey that was waiting for her at her seat, then switched out her pink ballcap out for a Hornets hat while she waited patiently for Kemba Walker to take the court.
The Hornets All-Star guard walked out and warmed up as normal, but he knew he had an extra set of eyes on him on Saturday. Walker was not only the reason Alyson and her family wanted to see the game, he was the one who got them there.
“I just want to bring some positive energy into her life. I can only imagine what that little girl goes through on a daily basis,” Walker said.
Alyson has Large B Cell Diffuse Hodgkins Lymphoma. Despite a recent trip to the ICU, her single mother was saving money to try and take Alyson to a game. The family reached out to Walker’s agent to try and get an autograph, but Walker decided that wasn’t enough.
He flew Alyson and her family in from Georgia, brought them in early to watch pregame warmups and made sure they had access to the full VIP treatment and a good meal.
“If she’s a fan of mine and I can help her out like that. I can bring a smile to her face, and her family’s face I’m all for it,” Walker said.
When the Hornets guard finished his pregame warmup, he headed for the baseline. Alyson got to hang out with her favorite basketball star.
“It was a cool experience; it was really good to meet her. I’m glad I could make someone’s day like that,” Walker said.
But for him, it wasn’t just about making Alyson’s day. Walker is known for giving and for getting out in the community, but acts like aren’t only a game changer for the people he’s helping.
“I just wanted to get a chance to meet her. She said she’s my biggest fan so I just wanted to meet and put a smile on her face. She definitely put mine as well,” Walker said.