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  • Eric Martinez

Mavs Gaming & Dallas Wings host panel and experience for Women’s History & Awareness Month

Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on the courage of women in past generations and to celebrate how their efforts and bravery afforded women the opportunities and freedoms they have today. It starts and continues to recognize the role that women have by honoring the past, but also striving to push awareness and create opportunities for young women.

With so many advancements in technology, ESports has become a popular career choice for many of our youth. Mavs Gaming is a professional NBA 2K team that gives opportunities to women to become a part of the 2K League when they drafted a total of 3 women, who are active players in the league. Dallas Wings point guard, Moriah Jefferson, finds it essential to interact, mentor and create experiences for young women in the community. She was very honored to be a part of this event. Head Coach of the Mavs Gaming organization LT Fairley embraced everyone and made sure to take the time on showing the girls from the Boys & Girls Club of Dallas each section of the Mavs Gaming Hub.

With Dinner being provided and the delicious aroma of chicken sandwiches in the air, each girl walked into the Mavs Gaming building with smiles that lit up the room. As they walked in, the organizer of the event, Tray Thompson, welcomed them, and invited them to take a picture to ensure they knew how important they were to the event and the community. The girls briefly took a quick walk through the different areas of the building, escorted by Head Coach of Mavs Gaming, LT Fairley. He showed the girls the gaming area, multiple Playstations and monitors, the ping-pong table, the Green Room and finally the area where the panel would take place.

As the girls were enjoying their dinner, the panel began by Tray introducing himself, thanking the Boys & Girls Club of Dallas for being in attendance, and introducing the panel guests, Moriah Jefferson of the Dallas Wings and Mavs Gaming Head Coach LT Fairley. The focus and engagement of the girls was refreshing. Each one had their eye on the panel guests.

Moriah explained that her biggest inspiration was her mother, when it came to going to college and to become better every single day. Her mother embedded in her that basketball is not something that will last forever, make sure to do your school work and be able to lead, speak and take classes to prepare for life after basketball. Moriah was asked about her experience and what was the key to her success when winning 4 consecutive NCAA Women’s championships in basketball. Consistency is the biggest thing for her. The two biggest things that laid the foundation were being disciplined and consistent on and off the court. In Moriah’s opinion, the way to create positive and productive ways to address the lack of women in sports is to create more dialogue. She emphasizes more opportunities for women to discuss on all platforms and social media. Create more conversations in the community for young women to see there is an outlet for them. Her advice on seeking out mentors in the community was a major part of who she became and why she was successful. Moriah explained to the girls that learned behavior is what we do at all times, she advised us to ask questions and reach out to find out.

LT Fairley was asked about the opportunity that women have in the 2K League and how that has changed in recent years. LT explained the great experience he had with not only drafting 3 women into the 2K League, but also allowing them to develop with a major role in competitive ESports opportunities. He acknowledges that he fully expects more women to be drafted and be successful in the NBA 2K League in the near future. In Season 4, Mavs Gaming mentored a woman draftee who was the best available player. He explained that she worked her way up from the Amateur leagues, and really asked questions and communicated with the other teammate’s on the roster to improve her skills.

The panel discussion and questions ended with a roaring applause. The girls seemed thrilled to have gained that information and knowledge. Moriah engaged in conversation with the group of girls as they were waiting to take group pictures. The genuine questions and laughter made everyone smile. The girls asked her questions like, “Am I taller than you?” “What’s your favorite color?” and things that brought a smile to Moriah’s face. When the camera’s started flashing for pictures, the energy was electric and the girls were overwhelmed.

The panel discussion was very important for the girls. That is something they will always be able to refer back to as far as the advice. The engagement of Moriah with each girl during the gaming time and session was extremely valuable. Each girl, including Moriah, sat in the Mavs Gaming area to learn more about video games. Moriah and the girls were laughing and smiling. A few of the girls played NBA 2k22 as the Dallas Wings, and some girls played Fortnite, and some played other video games. The joy that it gave to the girls was life changing. The professional Mavs Gamers were sitting with them every step of the way. They wanted the girls to get that feeling of opportunity and inclusion.

Engaging events will always create a sense of purpose and meaning. The community is very thankful for the opportunity to be invited and join in on these important gatherings. Each person in the building felt warmth, which is the purpose of what Women’s History Month is all about. As the event concluded, you heard overwhelming excitement and could tell that each girl had a great time. “If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself.” – Mindy Kaling.

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