As a young girl growing up in Decatur, Ga, Mariya Lewter grew up spending a lot of time with her older male cousins and god brother who were really into basketball. She would watch them play basketball, and even play video games with them as she remembers. “I remember going to the Atlanta Hawks games, but they always lost,” said Lewter, “I still liked watching them and the actual sport.”
When she turned 13-years-old in the eighth grade, she remembers watching the Boston Celtics play in a game on television. It was the NBA Finals when the Celtics played the Lakers that made her fall in love with sports. “I knew a lot about the Lakers, but I knew absolutely nothing about the Celtics,” said Lewter.
At that point she then became more interested to see who the Boston Celtics were as a team, she watched every game of the NBA Finals that season and learned about new players such as Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kevin Garnett.
“When I watched them win the championship game, it was the main reason that got me to love the game,” Lewter recalled. She still remembers the face of Paul Pierce, which showed her that he had wanted this for a long. The reaction from the Celtics’ players is something that she still can’t forget to this day. Lewter still recalls, the moment after the NBA Finals ending, researching the team and players of the Celtics.
After falling in love with basketball, Lewter started to watch other sports that she never really considered. “I started watching football because I had a lot of friends who were into the sport,” said Lewter. “I wanted to know what football was about.” She didn’t get into baseball until the end of high school, the time when the NFL and the NBA had lockouts at the same time. This left her with nothing else to do but watch baseball.
Now an 18-year-old student and Hoop Girl at the University of Georgia, Mariya Lewter has realized her love for sports came from basketball. “It is always something happening with a team or player that can evoke a lot of emotion out of me.” Lewter is now a sophomore in college embarking on a journey to become a sports writer.