TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — 11-year-old Maliyah Spruill-Friauf says she’s played basketball her whole life. She plans to keep that going.
“When I grow up I want to be a basketball player that’s why I pay attention to women’s college ball,” Spruill-Friauf said.
She says the Wildcat’s success inspired her moves.
“After watching a game, I go outside and play basketball," Spruill-Friauf said. "And then I come back inside and watch the highlights, and then back outside, back and forth.”
Maliyah plays point guard at the YMCA alongside a few other young basketball enthusiasts.
“I feel happy and excited but when sometimes I lose, I kind of get mad,” said Steven Pena, 8-year-old at YMCA.
They all watch the Wildcats’ games together and learn from the players on TV.
“I can learn different plays and drills so I can go out in my backyard and try them and keep doing it until I finally get them right,” Pena said.
Many of the kids were rooting for the women’s team. Maliyah says her all-time favorite player was the Women’s previous point guard Aari McDonald. Now, as the men inch closer to the championship, the YMCA players have some advice.
“They need to rebound, turnover less and shoot better,” Spruill-Friauf said.
Those goals are hopefully in the books already for the Wildcats' game tomorrow. These kids will be watching.
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