Rickea Jackson's mother had to practically talk the shoes off her elder son's feet before she could play in her first basketball game.
In an April phone conversation, Caryn Jackson noted, "I remember our first game like it was yesterday."
"When she begged to play, they responded, 'Where are your shoes?' So I gave her a brief explanation." She didn't have any gym shoes, of course.
When I asked my son Ryon whether she could play in his shoes, he said, 'No, these are my new LeBrons, they just arrived.' 'I'll get you two pairs,' I said, and he gave them to her, and she played."
Rickea Jackson, a promising All-SEC player, had a list of boxes to check before deciding to continue her collegiate basketball career at Tennessee: teammates, connections, and coaches.
"Of course, number two was the coaches, the offence, the structure, and the team's discipline. That was also high on my list because I didn't feel like I'd had any structure.