Danielle “Boogie” Wilson knew she was being honored at Fort Worth Paschal on June 3, but not exactly sure what for.
With school already out for the summer, Boogie arrived to the Gus Bates Center with more than 150 friends, family and classmates.
But one more person was also making her way to the court, Dallas Wings guard Skylar Diggins-Smith.
The WNBA star surprised Boogie with an honorary ESPY award for her inspiring story.
“It’s crazy. I never would have thought that I would be in this position,” Wilson said of receiving the ESPY award. “It shows me that anybody can do anything that you want as long as you put your mind to it, don’t quit, stay strong.”
Wilson grew up playing basketball, but her childhood wasn’t of the norm.
In a story about the Paschal star in January, her mother was a single parent and the family moved around a lot. They were once homeless and even stayed at various hotels.
Wilson wanted to play in college, but recruiting was tough.
However, Wilson is academically gifted as well, scoring a 1330 on the SAT.
She will attend the University of Houston on a full-ride scholarship and major in architecture.
“Your story is very encouraging. Just the strength, resilience, grit and the confidence that you have displayed. I’m sure you’re a role model to a lot of people you don’t even realize it,” Diggins-Smith told Wilson during the presentation. “You definitely inspired me.”
Boogie excelled on the court, where she helped turn around the girls basketball program. She finished the season averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game.
She played more than 90 games on the Paschal varsity girls basketball squad, accumulating 1,500 points and more than 1,000 rebounds.
“I have never had a student-athlete go through this much adversity and succeed and reach the goals they set as a freshman in high school,” Coach David Geer said. “She’s the epitome of a student-athlete. The sky’s the limit for the kid”