Chiquita Evans has made gaming history by becoming the first woman to be drafted into the NBA2K League. She was pick no. 56 and joins Warriors Gaming Squad.
The crowd went wild as Evans, who plays under the gamertag Chiquitae126, went up to the stage and promised to “be the best teammate” and take on “whatever role the team needs."
You can watch the moment she was drafted on NBA2K Leagues Twitter account.
Evans is a professional NBA2k player who first began her journey by playing basketball as a teenager. She played for school teams and was passionate about the sport. When an injury ended her real-life basketball dreams, she turned to NBA2k in order to compete in a new way.
She was one of just two female players entered into the 198 strong player pool for the draft, the other being Brianna Novin.
In her draft hopefuls profile video, she talks about going through the NBA 2K League Combine before season one and how she faced issues because of her gender.
"For the first time ever I gave up something ... people are saying I don't deserve to be here" - @chiquitae126— NBA2KLeague (@NBA2KLeague) March 2, 2019
See how @chiquitae126 turned her doubters into believers in this 2019 #NBA2KLeague Draft Hopefuls 🤞 profile ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/v1NYVOBcFd
Discussing how voice chat played a role in her struggles she says “I’d get on the mic and say, ‘I’m open, I’m open,’ and they’d be like, ‘That’s a girl?” Evans goes on to state that she would then “get iced out the whole game.” She found the process so draining that she withdrew, frustrated at being blocked and unable to prove herself.
After regrouping she turned the hate into motivation, determined to keep going and pursue her love of basketball and gaming. Her desire to go and shatter some glass ceilings made her give it another shot.
This time around she earned her spot in the draft at the 2018 NBA 2K League Showcase.
Talking about paving a way for other women she says “I do feel like if I get drafted, a lot more women will be interested and they will feel more comfortable with being themselves and going out here and competing.”
Now Evans has made the league many are hoping that her prediction will come true, as the lack of diversity in Esports is a widespread problem. Both the Overwatch League and the League of Legends Championship series each only have one female player.
Here's hoping that Evans has just become the first of many women to play in the NBA 2K League.