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Mercury to honor women of inspiration with personalized shoes

(@PhoenixMercury/Twitter Photo)

As part of their Women of Inspirations night, Phoenix Mercury players a paying tribute to the women who mean the most to them.

The Mercury will honor WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert at halftime as the team’s 2019 Woman of Inspiration.

Prior to becoming the first WNBA commissioner, Engelbert was the first woman to lead one of the country’s “Big Four” professional service firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG) when she served as the CEO of Deloitte.

Most recently, the team’s honorees have included Tammie Joe Shults (2018), former representative Gabby Giffords (2017) and ESPN broadcaster Holly Rowe (2016).

The players each have customized shoes for Tuesday’s game.

Forward DeWanna Bonner’s most important girls in her life are her twin daughters Demi and Cali.

Guard Briann January was blown away by the execution of her shoes which featured multiple women like former first lady Michelle Obama, sprinter Wilma Rudolph, poet Maya Angelou and others.

“All of these women, they were phenomenal in their own right and through their own channels,” January said in the social media video. “They pushed for better.”

Forward Camille Little selected hip hop icon Ms. Lauryn Hill. Her gold kicks have “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within” printed across the top of the shoes.

Guard Leilani Mitchell’s island-themed shoes honor her nana, grandma and mom. The shoes also have the Australian Island of Torres flag.

Rookie guard Sophie Cunningham’s kicks depict a day on the water and honor all of the women in her family.

Forward Sancho Lyttle’s Nike Hyperdunks recognize her mom and her grandma. Alongside Wonder Woman logos, Lyttle added her mom’s quote “Don’t give up until you’re finished” printed across the heels.

For guard Yvonne Turner, one shoe features singer Taylor Swift, while the other depicts bright yellow sunflowers and a cross in honor of her grandma.

Rookie forwards Alanna Smith and Brianna Turner customized pairs of Nike Kyrie 5’s. Smith paid tribute to two Australian women she idolized — her mom and former basketball player Lauren Jackson.

Meanwhile, Turner’s gold and black scheme honors tennis star Serena Williams and her mom. The shoe that commemorates her mom has a police badge to symbolize her mom’s work in the justice system.

Essence Carson chose to honor her mom, grandma and Rutgers women’s basketball coach Vivian Stringer who was the first African American college basketball coach to reach the 1,000 wins mark.

The Mercury will show off their kicks Tuesday when they take on the Seattle Storm at home at 7 p.m.

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