For the past few seasons, our hometown WNBA team the New York Liberty have had “Dads and Daughters Day” during a game close to Father’s Day. My family has been to three now. Let me tell you, the Liberty know how to treat basketball fans of all ages. If you’re looking for a wonderful family-friendly professional sports experience, look no further than Madison Square Garden — home of the Liberty.
Before the game begins, as you head into the Garden, the team hosts kid-friendly events and contests in and around the arena. The team’s tickets are quite affordable with cheapest seats costing around $23. The price for those seats at a Knick game are substantially more, so not only are the tickets much more reasonably, there aren’t any bad seats at a Liberty game.
The team has a wonderful connection to the team history. At this game, Sue Wicks, one of the original members of the Liberty was doing a meet and greet during halftime.
Throughout the game, there is always family-friendly fun on the court during timeouts and halftime. Even the dancers are fun and alternate between a group of children, L’il Torches and a senior dance troop. And, there’s the ever present mascot, Maddie. At Sunday’s game, there were dad and daughter themed activities on the court, and even a Dad Cam that featured yours truly with my daughter!
Keeping with the “Dads and Daughters” theme, the Liberty granted my daughter and me access to their locker room to chat with players about the impact of their fathers.
Rookie Kiah Stokes mentioned her father taught her all she knows about basketball.
“My dad (former NBA player Greg Stokes) basically got me into basketball. I was terrible when I first started. I couldn’t even run and dribble at the same time,” she said. “He was always there if I wanted to do extra stuff. He’d rebound for me. He’d put me through workouts. When I had a bad game, he’d tell me you didn’t this or do this well. But, if I had a great game, he’d be so proud of me. I’d wouldn’t be where I am without him. That’s for sure.”
Fellow rookie Brittany Boyd said about her father, “I had a great relationship with my father. You know, we were just good. He’d play sports with me. I’d just want to hang out with him. He was a great father.”
Veteran Candice Wiggins shared the powerful story of her father, former MLB player Alan Wiggins, who passed away when she was age 4, the same age my daughter currently is as she pointed out to the eight-year vet. Although she did not know her dad well or have all that much time with her, in a way his absence still affected Wiggins powerfully. Wiggins has been a longtime champion in the fight to cure AIDS, which claimed her father’s life through her work with Until There’s a Cure.
Although they only host one “Dads and Daughters Day” per season, it is definitely worth heading to a Liberty game with your family. The players are not only fun to watch, they are also good, thoughtful role models for our children.
Thanks to the New York Liberty for hosting us at “Dads and Daughters Day” and letting us speak with members of the team.