Even though Dion Waiters defends multiple positions, finishes well at the rim and scores in transition, none of those are the areas the ex-Syracuse guard excelled in most.
Waiters was college basketball's most prolific retweeter, enthusiastically acknowledging the tweets of anyone from TV viewers praising his game, to girls throwing themselves at him, to fans anointing him their favorite player.
The generosity of Waiters with his fans apparently extends beyond the realm of Twitter based on the heartwarming story Clay, N.Y., resident Andrea Mackey shared with the Syracuse Post-Standard on Friday.
When Waiters returned to Syracuse on Saturday for an autograph signing at a local mall, Mackey took daughter Mikaila Ryan to see him because the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round draft pick was her favorite player. Mikaila made her mom promise not to speak to Waiters during the autograph signing, so Mackey wrote a note instead.
The note revealed Mikaila's devotion to Waiters, her sparkling GPA at Gillette Road Middle School and the fact that she played basketball for her school. It also included the family's telephone number.
Before Mackey left the autograph signing, she handed Waiters the note, asked how long he'd be in town and half-jokingly told him she was making tacos for dinner that night and that he should come by. Much to her surprise, Mackey received a text from Waiters soon afterward asking directions to her house.
Mackey told the Post-Standard Waiters showed up at her doorstep with five cousins in tow and stayed until about 9 p.m. He signed autographs, posed for photos and shot baskets with the family.
"It was really fun and it was really cool being able to meet an NBA player," Mikaila Ryan told the Post-Standard. "I was surprised that he actually came, though. He came and he didn't even know us."
The way-too-obvious joke to make here is that Waiters probably doesn't need any free meals these days. He showed up a bit out of shape to Summer League in Las Vegas and looked a step slow going against guys who were fighting for jobs.
Still, even the most diehard Cavs fan should forgive Waiters for straying from his diet for one night. This was a very kind gesture that a young fan and her family probably won't ever forget.
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