A Sacramento Kings super fan famous for her handcrafted signs and posters is up for some prestigious recognition. Barbara Rust, better known as the Sacramento Kings Sign Lady, is a finalist for induction into ESPN’s fan hall of fame, the team announced this morning.
Rust and her husband Niko have been fixtures at Kings’ games since the team first moved to Sacramento in 1985. Her signs usually provide messages of inspiration and support, which don’t go unnoticed by the team.
“It’s well known around the NBA that we have great fans,” Kings head coach Michael Malone said after practice Monday. ”And then obviously with Sign Lady…she kind of embodies what the Sacramento fans are about and how committed and how much she believes and how much passion she has for the team. So that’s just I think one of the great bonuses we have from being in Sacramento is that we have great fans and Barbara AKA the Sign Lady is one of the best fans that we have.”
Jason Thompson has seen a throng of and even been a subject of some of Rust’s signs over the course of his six-year career. But what’s more meaningful to the veteran power forward is the support the Rusts show him outside of Kings games.
“What makes them special to me (is) they come to things that they don’t even have to,” Thompson said. ”I tweet about my (youth basketball) camp and they were one of the people that came to my camp this year. I played in a couple of tournaments in the summer and stuff like that and they came out there to see me for that too. They do stuff they don’t have to do and that’s why they’re great people with great hearts.”
The team recently paid respect to Rust after her husband announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. She underwent successful surgery to address the issue and remains a regular sight in her lower level seats located adjacent to the Kings’ bench.
Fans can ensure Sign Lady’s induction into the hall of fame by voting for her at the attached link up to three times a day. ESPN will select three inductees for this year’s class after voting concludes on Dec. 11.