Norfolk State University junior basketball players Jonathan Wade and Kiara Phillips were the subject of a feature love story in last week’s Virginian-Pilot that crosses sports and cultural boundaries.
It’s not typical at a college basketball practice for the pick-and-roll to be replaced by the hug-and-kiss, but players from both teams are getting used to it.
In the MEAC, men’s games are played after women’s games as part of a doubleheader, meaning Wade and Phillips, both juniors with informal plans to marry, get to watch each other play most games.
During timeouts, they frequently lock eyes over the team huddle, offering one another silent, implied support.
“Just reassurance,” said Phillips, who looks a little like Halle Berry with longer hair and sounds a bit like Sandy from the movie “Grease.” “He encourages me a lot. It keeps me going.”