Wish Kid Yani Selected to Join 2018-19 Sacramento Kings Dancers

As Honorary Member, Yani Will Continue to Pursue Dance Dream

Today, the Sacramento Kings unveiled the full roster for the 2018-19 Sacramento Kings Dancers, including honorary team member and local Make-A-Wish® child Yani of Sacramento. Through Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada, the Sacramento Kings are able to provide Yani with this unique wish enhancement – supporting her dream of dancing – while she waits for her wish.

“On behalf of the entire organization we’re excited and honored to have Yani join us as a member of the Sacramento Kings Dancers,” said Sacramento Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis. “Her background as a competitive dancer along with her incredible attitude, resilient spirit and appetite for adventure make her a fantastic addition to this year’s team.”

Yani said “I am so touched and grateful to have this opportunity. The way the Kings Dancers make me feel says a lot about their team and makes me want to be a part of it even more. They make me feel like myself again.”

Yani is a passionate athlete who has spent most of her days on a competitive dance team until her life took an unexpected twist in October of 2017. She fell ill, and her blood pressure reached extraordinarily high levels alongside sudden kidney failure. Yani was hospitalized for 53 days and unfortunately experienced several complications ranging from pneumonia to blood clots and more. Doctors determined that her kidney failure was due to the autoimmune disorder, Lupus, and they began treatment soon after. Despite her unexpected battle, Yani’s condition is improving. She is a strong and resilient young girl who has the loving support from her family and friends.

“Yani is a bright young girl with deep passions and goals,” said Make-A-Wish President and CEO Jennifer Stolo. “We are happy to continue such a strong partnership with the Sacramento Kings to grant wishes and wish enhancements for children who deserve them.”

As a member of the Sacramento Kings Dancers, Yani will join the team throughout the season for select events including team building events, practices and community appearances, while learning more about the world of professional dance. She’ll have an opportunity to join the team for performances on Sacramento’s biggest dance stage -- on-court appearances during Sacramento Kings games.

Yani’s journey as a Sacramento Kings Dancer begins with the launch of the team’s website and dance team profiles. A behind-the-scenes video follows her during the team’s media day following selection.

The Sacramento Kings are dedicated to doing good, impacting the world and making Sacramento proud. Through various events and indicatives during the year, the Kings and the Kings Foundation spread messages of health, sustainability and education. The Kings and Make-A-Wish Foundation have granted several wishes throughout the Sacramento area including Garbage Man Ethan who held a press conference with the Kings at the State Capitol, Sac Ninja Bryant who saved Mascot Slamson and challenged Urijah Faber in an arm wrestling battle, and Sacramento’s Princess Alyla who was crowned on Golden 1 Center’s Plaza.

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About Make-A-Wish®
Make-A-Wish® creates life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses and are on a quest to bring every eligible local child’s wish to life. Research has shown that a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada was established in 1983 as one of the early local chapters of Make-A-Wish® America. For more information about Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada, call 916.437.0206 or visit necannv.wish.org.

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