Why This WNBA Star Is Sporting Nike’s New Sneakers for People With Disabilities


When WNBA All-Star player Elena Delle Donne first heard about Matthew Walzer, the teen who challenged Nike to design sneakers for people with disabilities, she took a particular interest in his story.

Delle Donne, who is the shooting guard and small forward for the Chicago Sky, has been vocal about her younger sister, Lizzie, who was born blind, deaf, with autism and — like Walzer — lives with cerebral palsy, according to Delle Donne’s website.

Delle Donne understands how difficult it can be for someone with a disability, like her sister, to comfortably wear sneakers. So, to show solidarity with her sister and everyone else who will benefit from Nike’s new shoes for people with disabilities, Delle Donne proudly sported Nike’s FlyEase Zoom Soldier 8 shoes at the WNBA All-Star game on Saturday, July 25, ESPN reported.

Delle Donne also invited Walzer to the game, and the two were able to meet and share their stories beforehand. Delle Donne tweeted a photo of the two of them following the game:

“This moment, meeting Matthew, looking at these shoes and knowing that I get to wear them tomorrow and someday see them on my sister is by far the best part of All-Star,” Delle Donne told ESPN in the video below. “This is life-changing for so many people, and to be a small part of it is so special.”

Learn more about Walzer, Delle Donne and the story behind Nike’s new sneakers in the video below.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

An NFL Player Made a Memorable Special Olympics Opening Ceremony Speech

On Saturday night, more than 60,000 people filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to celebrate the beginning of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. The night included fireworks, performances from Stevie Wonder and Avril Lavigne, and appearances from First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Lauren Potter and Olympian Michael Phelps. The atmosphere was electric. Of the many exceptional speeches [...]

The Best Help I’ve Ever Received During My Son’s Meltdown

For the most part, the trip was fine. Sure, there were bad parts. My husband woke up the morning we were supposed to leave with a 103-degree fever and had to stay home. By the end of the trip, I was in the emergency room with an incredibly painful double ear infection. But in between, [...]

New Honey Maid Ad Spreads Sweetness, Love and Disability Acceptance

On July 24, the graham cracker company Honey Maid released the latest video in its #ThisIsWholesome campaign, an effort to represent the diversity of American families in its advertising. Its newest ad features a woman in a wheelchair teaching her niece to make cheddar apple melts on graham crackers. It’s simple, sweet and important. The ad’s release coincides [...]

See How the Americans With Disabilities Act Has Changed Over the Last 25 Years

On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. The legislation was designed to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Since its inception 25 years ago, the ADA has changed and adapted as we get closer to a more accessible, equal world. There’s still a ways to go, though, so awareness and advocacy [...]