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The Chicago Bulls' 9-year-old screaming secret weapon to beating the Toronto Raptors

ANDREW LIMBONG, HOST:

Sometimes, as a parent, all you want is a little quiet and for your kids to just listen.

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

But sometimes...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DIAR DEROZAN: (Screaming).

SUMMERS: Sometimes caving in to your kids and letting them be as loud as they want to be is a win for the whole team.

LIMBONG: Chicago Bulls player DeMar DeRozan knows that firsthand.

DEMAR DEROZAN: You know, she just said, Dad, can I come to the Toronto game?

SUMMERS: DeRozan is talking there about his 9-year-old daughter, Diar.

LIMBONG: The Bulls faced the Toronto Raptors last night as part of a tournament to make the NBA playoffs, and DeMar DeRozan used to play for the Raptors. He and his family had lived there for years before he joined the Bulls.

SUMMERS: So, of course, Diar had asked to skip school and cheer on the team.

DEROZAN: And I remember going to all the Toronto games when she was a kid, and I almost said no because she in school back home. I'm glad I did. I owe her some money for sure.

SUMMERS: You see; the Bulls were down by as much as 19 points at one point, but every now and then, a voice would just cut through the crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER #1: If you're Chicago here...

DIAR: (Screaming).

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER #2: She went one for two.

LIMBONG: Yep, that's the sound of a comeback. Diar DeRozan tried to get the Raptors to miss free throws by screaming at the top of her lungs every time they went to the line, and they missed 18 of those shots.

SUMMERS: The Bulls won, and Diar was an instant social media star.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DIAR: (Screaming).

SUMMERS: DeMar DeRozan said his daughter can't miss any more school to watch the playoffs, but I think some fans might want him to reconsider. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jason Fuller
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Ashley Brown is a senior editor for All Things Considered.

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