Monumental Sports & Entertainment vice chairman and Mystics president and managing partner Sheila C. Johnson presented a $10,000 check to recent McKinley Technology High School graduate Samia Taliaferro during the Mystics game on July 13. This is the fourth consecutive year that Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation awarded a $10,000 scholarship to a D.C. girls basketball student-athlete through the District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP). Recipients must attend D.C. public or public charter schools to be eligible for the scholarship. Candidates were required to write an essay on what inspired them to play basketball, what lessons they learned from the sport and how those lessons will help them throughout college and as they begin their career in the workforce.
Samia first started playing basketball at age nine, and she instantly fell in love with the sport. Being a big sister, Samia had a lot of responsibilities at home helping care for her younger siblings. At times her life seemed very chaotic and overwhelming and basketball provided her with an outlet where she could focus and forget about the negative things going on in her life. It gave her a purpose and motivated her to want to do better.
One of the most important lessons that Samia learned from basketball was teamwork. Before playing basketball Samia didn’t value the help of others because she thought she had to do everything on her own. Basketball helped her understand that for the team to be successful, the players need to help each other and work together. Playing basketball also showed her the importance of hard work and instilled confidence in her. Through her experiences on the basketball court, Samia feels prepared to be able to go through life and work well with others. She also has the confidence to know that she will be able to push through any obstacles to reach her goals. Samia looks forward to applying these lessons as she heads to North Carolina Central University in August to study biology.
MSE Foundation is the official charity of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, NHL’s Washington Capitals and AFL’s Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade and focuses on five pillars including youth basketball and education and scholarship.