John Wall gives emotional tribute to his mom at Kentucky Hall of Fame ceremony
NBA.com staff reports
John Wall’s speech during his induction into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame didn’t leave a dry eye in the room.
The Washington Wizards point guard took a moment to thank his mother for raising him and overcoming several obstacles in the process, including not paying the light bill so Wall could participate in AAU basketball. He told stories of how she kept believing in him despite “always getting kicked out” of school and the trouble he’d sometimes find himself in.
Wall broke down in tears as part of an emotional night for the Wildcat Hall of Famer.
The tribute starts at the 4:38 mark below, with a transcript of the heartfelt words underneath.
“I just want to thank you. I just wanted to say thank you for being my mom. I know it was tough growing up with me and my two sisters, seeing my dad go to jail at a young age, and you sacrificing everything.
“You always told me when I was 16, you said you knew I was a hardheaded kid. I know you used to hate when I was in kindergarten. You had to sit in the parking lot a lot of times because I could never stay in school more than 30 minutes. I was always getting kicked out, and she had to drive 45 minutes to take me to school. Then all of a sudden I started playing AAU basketball and I met one of my close friends EJ, we call him Grizzly, and she would miss a lot of tournaments, but she would sacrifice sometimes not paying the light bill just so I could go play basketball.
“Then when I was 16 years old, I kept getting in trouble. She took basketball away from me. She said either you can go down the same road as your dad and brothers, or you can be somebody very special and change our family’s lives.”