Chicago Sky rookie center Imani Boyette was bored back in May when she started a campaign to convince 50 Cent to come to a WNBA game during its 20th season.
“It was really just a joke,” says Boyette, who began to tweet using the hashtag #wnba20for50. “But people actually liked it, so I was like, I guess I have to keep doing it.”
— Imani McGee-Stafford (@imanitrishawn_) May 10, 2016
Even as the campaign picked up steam, she never imagined that 50 would eventually sit courtside at a Sky game. But that’s exactly what happened last September when Chicago faced the defending champion Minnesota Lynx.
“Luckily, he came to a game where Maya Moore played, and she sold it,” Boyette laughs.
Boyette may not be giving herself enough credit, though. With 8.5 seconds remaining, Boyette iced that game with a thunderous block to ensure a 98–97 overtime win.
Afterward, 50 Cent had a message for Boyette. “He was like, ‘Whenever you guys play New York, call my people, let us know.’ So he’s a fan,” Boyette says.
It was a high point in a season that was filled with ups and downs.
Back in May, Boyette wasn’t getting crunch-time minutes—or any minutes at all. She picked up three DNPs in the team’s first five games.
“It was really hard for me to be putting in the work and not seeing immediately the results,” she says.
By July, however, Boyette had won the starting job and eventually finished the season first among rookies in field-goal percentage (55.4) to go with averages of 6.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.4 bpg.
With a non-stop motor, stretchy wingspan and elite athleticism, Boyette proved to be a defensive force in the paint and a steal at No. 10 in the 2016 Draft.
As far as Twitter campaigns are concerned, Boyette has now started a brand new one: #Bears4Boyette, an effort to get her husband, Texas defensive tackle Paul Boyette, drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“All I have left is finding my husband an NFL team, and that’s it,” she says.
Ryne Nelson is a Senior Editor at SLAM. Follow him on Twitter @slaman10.
Photo via Getty Images