Washington Wizards guard John Wall played an inspired game against the Boston Celtics Monday night, clinching 26 points and a career-high 17 assists. During an emotional postgame interview, Wall said that the game had been “for Miyah.”
Miyah Telemaque-Nelson is a 6-year-old girl Wall befriended last year, a few months after she was diagnosed with cancer.
On Monday, Wall learned over text message that Miyah had died.
According to CSN Washington, the basketball player had been writing Miyah’s name on his shoes all season. He reportedly spoke to her often and had even helped her fulfill her dream of meeting singer Nicki Minaj.
During his postgame interview Monday, following the Wizards’ 133-132 double-overtime victory over the Celtics, Wall broke down in tears while speaking about Miyah. He became so overcome with grief that it rendered him speechless.
“It was a tough day for him," Wizards coach Randy Wittman told the Associated Press. "I thought he handled it well, but he was hurting at the end."
Wall later took to Twitter to honor Miyah. “If you were blessed to meet and get to know Miyah you know how special of a little girl she was,” he wrote. “I’ll definitely miss my buddy.”