For the sixth year, the Storm partnered with the Austen Everett Foundation to provide Honorary Captain experiences for children battling cancer. While 2020 looked a little different with the WNBA taking place in Bradenton, Florida, we were proud to continue our honorary captain program and honor 28 strong-willed cancer fighters and their families.
Past Honorary Captains:
The Storm’s 2017 Honorary Team Captain, Adelina, was provided an opportunity to benefit from the strength and support the team environment provides by sitting courtside at a game and having the chance to meet the entire Storm roster. All players visited our honorary captain pregame, where they shared words of praise and encouragement and took time for photos and autographs on her new Storm jersey.
For the first time, the Seattle Storm and WNBA partnered with the Austen Everett Foundation to host an Honorary All-Star experience at the Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 on July 21-22, 2019 for a child battling cancer. Our Honorary All-Star, Eniyah Washington, was signed to the Western Conference All-Star Team at a press conference hosted by ESPN’s Holly Rowe and Sue Bird. She received an official game jersey and personalized All-Star shirt. Following the press conference, Eniyah had the opportunity to meet all of the All-Stars as she sat courtside for their pregame warm-ups and enjoyed the game with her family.
In March 2018, the Storm extended their Honorary Captain experience to four-year-old Layla at the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament. Layla had the opportunity to meet and play a little basketball with Pac-12 Networks’ on-air personality Tammy Blackburn, who has been battling breast cancer. Following her time with Tammy, Layla joined Stanford’s bench pre-game and met with coaches and players before being honored at center court with the Stanford and USC captains. Check out the video below to see Layla’s feature on the Pac-12 Networks.
On July 1, 2018, the Storm honored Savannah, a very special young girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was just two years old. Now six years later and battling the cancer a second time, Savannah showed her strength to the Storm team, inspiring them to beat Connecticut. Savannah has become a huge Storm fan in part to a few special hospital visits from the Storm’s very own Alysha Clark. Savannah had the opportunity to chat and take pictures with Alysha and other Storm players pregame as well as join in the game captain’s huddle. After a huge ovation from the crowd, Savannah cheered on the Storm from courtside. Following the game, Savannah checked out the Storm locker room and got autographs from the whole team.
On August 19, 2018, the Storm honored Haley, an extraordinary young girl as our Honorary Captain. At just six years old, she was diagnosed with Mixed Lineage Leukemia. After being in remission for two years, Haley found out she had relapsed on June 8, 2017. After two rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant with her little brother as the donor, 10-year-old Haley is the definition of a fighter. One-year post transplant, Haley joined the Storm pregame and hung out on the court with Alysha Clark and Jewell Loyd. These are two players that she has already become huge fans of after some special hospital visits playing Uno together. Haley also joined Storm and Wings game captains at center court before tipoff to show us cancer will not hold her down.
On May 25, 2019 the Storm honored 50 courageous cancer fighters and their supportive siblings with Storm Championship Rings. The Storm and Baron’s Leave No One Behind program partnered to celebrate the fight of these strong-willed children and their families. The group received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd and were selected as honorary champions on behalf of the Storm!
On August 1, 2019, the Storm hosted Sam, a basketball fanatic who was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2016, at a Storm team practice. Although her own dreams of continuing to play basketball are over due to her treatment and the permanent damage in both of her knees and left ankle, nothing has stopped her from being a huge supporter of the game. Sam had the opportunity to watch practice, meet the team and shoot on court with Jewell Loyd. She even received a special gift from Shavonte Zellous. Sam came to the Storm’s home game against the Washington Mystics on August 2, to see her favorite players in action. All players spent time with Sam pregame, welcoming her to the game. To celebrate her fight, strength, and determination, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis presented Sam with a Storm Championship ring at center court before the game. Sam also joined the Captain’s Huddle and met with Alysha Clark, Kristi Tolliver and the game officials. We highlighted Sam’s story in a short video that aired on BHA Night.