John Wall looks back on favorite DC memories ahead of return originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Ahead of John Wall’s first game back in Washington since being traded to the Houston Rockets last offseason, the former Wizards point guard sat down for an interview with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller. Unprompted, Wall took over the interview and asked to run through his favorite memories from the District.
“I wanna talk about the special moments I had in D.C.,” Wall said. “I have some special moments, man. Having the opportunity to watch the Mystics win their championship, being their support with the relationship I had with a lot of those females on that team. Definitely being there to watch the Nats do [their] thing and win those games to get to the world championship, that was very dope.”
Wall’s NBA career began in 2010, when the Wizards drafted him No. 1 overall out of Kentucky. He immediately flashed the potential Washington saw in him as he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. Wall was an All-Star by the time he was 23, won the 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and helped bring the Wizards back to relevance by leading them to four playoff appearances in five years.
However, as important as it was for him to come through on the court, Wall also dove into charity efforts to help those struggling in the D.C. community.
“Definitely my give backs to the community, every single one of them was dope because I embraced so many people there and touched the community in ways that I never thought I could and that was the most important thing, was to touch people outside of basketball,” Wall said. “As a basketball player, they’re supposed to love you because you’re supposed to go out there and love the game and give 110 percent effort, but the love you get off the court in the community is more important than anything.”
Playing in the nation’s capital had its perks, allowing Wall to visit the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration. He mentioned bowling with the president at the alley in the White House and meeting First Lady Michelle Obama as memories that “you can never take away.”
Washington also gave Wall the opportunity to make his voice heard as a member of the Black Lives Matter movement this past summer in the weeks following George Floyd’s death.
“Being out there with the social justice stuff that was going on, how to embrace it, being able to walk and have a protest with Black Lives Matter, that was very dope to be there through all that times [and] see how the city came together,” Wall said. “The Mystics and the Wizards came together as one whole.”
Wall’s time in D.C. may have come to a tumultuous end, but he grew up in Washington and the city helped shape him in ways that will stay with him forever.
“My dad being born and raised there, having the opportunity to play in the city that he was born at, having both of my boys be born there, also really purchasing my first house ever there,” Wall said. “I really found out how it was to really be a man. Coming into that city, they taught me how to grow up and be a man, more than anything, from a little boy so those were some of my dope memories.”
Tune in Monday night to see the Wizards take on John Wall and the Rockets on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage starts at 6 p.m.