Local 11-year-old ‘stands tall’ with WNBA’s Chicago Sky

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118719848222309.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.wnba.com‘, ‘WNBA Chicago Sky forward Brooke Wyckoff‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118719849819992.jpg’, ”, ”);

When 11-year-old Justina Galindo returns to Rock Cut Elementary School in a couple of weeks, she is going to have a terrific story to tell when her teachers and her classmates ask her, “What did you do this summer?”

Earlier this month, Galindo’s name was announced as one of three winners of the “Together We Stand Tall” essay contest sponsored by the Chicago Sky WNBA team and the Chevy Dealers of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

To be eligible, girls between the ages of 8 and 16 had to submit a 200-word essay about why they would like to be mentored by a Sky player and what it means to them to “stand tall.” Galindo stated in her essay that she was looking for a basketball “big sister.” To her, “stand tall means to stand up for yourself and what you believe in.” Galindo was matched with Sky forward Brooke Wyckoff.

After being announced as one of the winners, Galindo and her family were upgraded to courtside seats at the Sky game. Galindo and the other two winners were allowed to attend the Sky practice Thursday, Aug. 9, and have lunch with their player-mentors after practice. Last Saturday, Aug. 11, Galindo was able to spend the day shadowing Wyckoff and then sit behind the players’ bench at the game that night. Wyckoff will come to speak at Galindo’s school sometime during the 2007-08 academic year.

Mike Hillstrom, of the Chevy Dealers Association, said, “This program was designed to give girls access to the Sky players, who are great athletes, educated women and inspiring role models.”

Not only does Galindo have a great story to tell when school starts, but she’ll also have a really cool show-and-tell later in the year when Wyckoff comes calling.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

from the Aug 15-21, 2007, issue

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