Article Lead Image

Keith Allison/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Basketball player John Wall tears up discussing 6-year-old friend who died of cancer

He struggles to keep his emotions in check.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 9, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 12:57 am CDT

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall was visibly emotional during a post-game interview after defeating the Boston Celtics in double-overtime, but it wasn’t about the game.

Earlier that day, Wall’s young friend Miyah Telemaque-Nelson had died of Burkitt’s Lymphoma at age 6. They met in March when he helped her achieve her dream of meeting Nicki Minaj. After that, they stayed in touch, FaceTiming as recently as two weeks before she died.

Before Monday’s game, the Wizards held a moment of silence in Miyah’s honor, and Wall wrote her name on his shoes.

During the interview, Wall dedicated the Wizards-Celtics game to Miyah and said he planned to give his jersey and shorts to her family. It didn’t take long for him to become overwhelmed with emotions.

(Sorry, this embed was not found.)

After the game, he posted a dedication to Miyah on social media. She had clearly made an enormous impact on his life.

H/T SB Nation | Screengrab via Keith Allison/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Dec 9, 2014, 10:32 am CST