Girls Don't Sit the Bench

Two weeks after the Charlottesville Cavaliers were disqualified from the boys’ under-11 NTBA tournament for having a girl on their team, 10-year-old Kymora Johnson and her teammates stepped onto a bigger stage.

The New York Liberty flew the Cavaliers to Madison Square Garden to play an exhibition game Saturday night to shine a spotlight on Kymora, her team and the idea that girls can (and should) be able to play with the boys.

The team received a standing ovation from the crowd as they were introduced on the court. Members of the Liberty stuck around to watch and cheer on Kymora and her teammates during the 20-minute exhibition.

Kymora and her teammates wore gray t-shirts that read “Girls Don’t Sit On The Bench,” and the Liberty tagged the event #girlpower on their Twitter feed.

“When our staff first heard about Kymora and the Charlottesville Cavaliers, we immediately thought about bringing the team to Madison Square Garden,” Kristen Bernert, Liberty senior vice president for business and basketball operations, said in a statement. “The New York Liberty stands for inclusion and strives to inspire young women to burn bright in everything they do.”