John Wall is a three-time NBA All-Star and the franchise player for the Washington Wizards. As the first pick in the 2010 draft, Wall has made a name for himself as an explosive, all-action point guard with coast-to-coast speed.
A little less known fact about the 25-year-old: sometimes, he moonlights as a referee, too.
On Tuesday, several members of the American capital's franchise teamed up with the WNBA's Washington Mystics as well as the Harlem Globetrotters to support the Special Olympics D.C.’s “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign.
The pros helped out at St. Coletta of Greater Washington for the organization’s annual Unified basketball game and several star names lent their hand to unfamiliar roles.
Wizards superstar Wall and Mystics guard Natasha Cloud donned the referee uniforms, while Garrett Temple, Otto Porter, Ramon Sessions and Jarell Eddie served as honorary coaches. Polish native Marcin Gortat handled all P.A. duties, too.
However, Wall was the star of the show as his infectious personality helped make the fifth installment of the annual event a raging success. The North-Carolina-born Wall was seen dancing and showboating at the event, making sure everyone in attendance had a good time.
After a victory over the Detroit Pistons last time out, the Wizards managed to halt a run of five losses on the bounce. However, they remain three-and-a-half games back from the current incumbents of the eighth seed, the Chicago Bulls.
Wall is currently averaging 20 points a night in addition to 9.9 assists, which are both noticeably above his career averages.
But, this was a break from the grind that is the NBA calendar. Wall and his teammates were clearly enjoying letting their hair down and doing some good for their community, giving off the impression this wasn't a chore that they had to do as part of the Wizards - they wanted to be there.
After the Unified game, and still rocking his referee uniform, Wall made an appearance on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. The point guard was asked about Kentucky - where he played college basketball - and their chances in the NCAA tournament.
“They have two sensational guards in [Jamal] Murray and [Tyler] Ulis,” Wall said. “They’re playing unbelievable basketball and, going into the tournament, their guards can lead them to a championship. … I like their chances.
"They’re in a tough side of the bracket, but with those two guys running the team and Coach Cal as the coach, I think they have an opportunity to do something special. I just told Tyler to keep playing the way he’s been playing. I think a lot of people underestimated him for his size, but his heart and determination is something that makes him who he is.”