Week three of the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA live sessions saw WNBA player Azura Stevens interacting with over 200 youth. The Chicago Sky forward was thrilled to share her knowledge of the game and life and emphasized the importance of a grassroot program and such initiatives for the sport to grow.
“I think it’s so powerful when you have somebody that is somewhere that you want to be. It’s not a guarantee that they will get there but if they (youth) can ask anything that they want, it will just give them a boost of confidence,” said Stevens following her session on Saturday morning.
While last season saw Chicago Sky making an early exit, the social justice movement remained the highlight though. The 2020-21 season was a testament of the power athletes have and their impact. Stevens stated, “I don’t believe in doing things for recognition. I feel doing the right thing and doing it whether someone is watching or not is what matters.” Stevens also stated how the age of social media has enabled players to realize their power and voice out on issues that concern the society.
Heading into the historic 25th WNBA season, Stevens, much like her favorite player, Kevin Durant, is all set to come back stronger. “I am coming back from my injury, completing a full season would be my biggest goal,” said the forward. While Stevens is a huge fan of Durant’s versatility, if she could have a characteristic from any other player in the NBA and the WNBA, it would be LeBron James’ strength and her Sky teammates, Diamond DeShields’ and Gabby Williams’ athleticism.
In one of the biggest free-agency moves in the history of the WNBA, the Sky signed two-time WNBA MVP forward Candace Parker last year and Stevens couldn’t hide her excitement of playing with the two-time WNBA MVP. “We got hit by the injury bug (last season), I know we’re going to win now (this season), we’ve added Candace and Astou (Ndour) too and we’re all coming back,” concluded Stevens.
The 12-week Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA live series tipped off March 6 and so far, Chicago Sky guard Sydney Colson and two-time NBA All-Star Roy Hibbert have featured along with Stevens. Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach, Roy Rana, will join the session on March 27th.