Seventh grader in New Jersey practices with Liberty

Photo Credit: Richard Harbus

There is something to be said for the simple concept of fairness.

Sydney Phillips attends St. Theresa School in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Said school only fields a boys basketball team because there were not enough girls that signed up to field a girls team.

Phillips attempted to sign up for the boys team, but was rejected by the school. The claim, according to a lawsuit from her father, was that Phillips’ paperwork was not submitted on time. This claim has been refuted by her father.

And since then, the school decided to expel her. An appeals court judge since has said Phillips must be allowed to return to class pending a hearing.

Prior to all of this, the New York Liberty reached out to Phillips and invited her to practice last Wednesday.

In addition to attending, Phillips also had the chance to FaceTime with Swin Cash, who is now in the team’s front office as director of franchise development.

I’m really happy to see that our organization is one that’s committed to shining a spotlight on situations like this and making her and her family feel the love and support of the Liberty.

This was not lost on the Liberty’s Sugar Rodgers, who shared her own story of how when she wanted to be part of her local Pop Warner, those powers that be thought she wanted to be a cheerleader.

The (organization) was giving my parents a hard time. Eventually, they let me be a part of it, they actually welcomed me after they gave my parents a hard fight.

–Sugar Rodgers

After the practice took place, Teresa Weatherspoon spoke out in favor of Phillips when talking with People Magazine.

The way we learned the game is playing with the guys. You just wanted to play against other athletes and get better at a sport. And to be honest with you, Sydney Phillips can play the game. She is a talent. She wasn’t intimidated at all to be out on the floor with us. She was excited, she was motivated, and having so much fun.

–Teresa Weatherspoon

Because I’m a girl doesn’t mean that I can’t play basketball.

–Sugar Rodgers



By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)

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