A staple of Summer League is the cheesy halftime entertainment. Sometimes you get dance groups. Often you'll get a goofy little contest involving fans. And occasionally local youth teams will take the floor for a five-minute contest in front of the fans.
It takes something special to catch the eye of a cynical Vegas vet like me who has important fat chewing and valuable tweeting to do during breaks in play. That happened on Saturday during the intermission of the Bobcats vs. D-League Select game in the form of a tiny little star by the name of Addison Melone of Henderson, Nev.
Addi, as her parents Jill and Mark call the humble young guard, took to the court with a squad of varsity high school kids. At first her small size caught my eye. Hey, look at that little blond girl. Isn't she...OH MY! As Addi steals the ball from a much bigger kid and dribbles deftly down the floor for a layup.
Then she scored again.
The flashy fifth-grader finished with 10 points against girls who were easily twice her size and six to eight years her senior.
We were all in awe watching the display of pure talent, so of course I sprinted down from the media section to get an interview. That's what we do here in Vegas. We talk to young players and introduce them to the world before they arrive on the big stage.
In the case of top-ranked NBA rookies that stage is only a few months away. For Addi, it might take a few more years, but when you see talent like this it's not going out on a limb to think about what comes next.
"Well, I've been playing and I just like the game because it's fun and when I'm bored I just get to play," Addi told me just minutes after her domination on the big court.
Addi's favorite WNBA teams are the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury. Her favorite player is Diana Taurasi (mine too). And while she's keeping her options open, the talented scoring guard seems to be leaning towards DePaul for her college choice. If she keeps on playing like this, she'll have every recruiter in the nation banging down her door with scholarship in hand.
We couldn't get video of her play but this was shot last year at Summer League when Addi would have been 9 years old. Amazing.