Sacramento Kings Sign Lady inducted into ESPN Fan Hall of Fame
Make room, Mitch Richmond. You’re not the only King being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
Barbara Rust, known for her signs that express words of encouragement to Sacramento Kings players, was officially inducted into ESPN’s Fan Hall of Fame on Thursday. Rust watched the festivities with friends and members of the Kings organization from inside the team’s locker room at Sleep Train Arena. The ceremony itself took place at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT.
“I’m so proud for the Kings and for the city of Sacramento because I think we really deserve (it),” Rust said. “We’re the first NBA fanbase in the hall, so it’s pretty cool. It’s something that we can always hold onto now that we’re gonna be here forever.”
Sign Lady was one of three inductees in the 2013 class. She was nominated by her fellow Kings fans who pushed heavily for her induction through social media.
“It’s still hard for me to believe that this all happened because unlike the other people, I didn’t nominate myself,” said Rust, who first learned of her candidacy as a finalist from her husband Niko. “I didn’t even know it was happening until it was well underway.”
Despite being a finalist, She wasn’t sure if she would make this year’s class. Rust faced stiff competition from bigger professional sports markets, but Kings fans were able to get her over the hump and into the hall through their unwavering support.
“In a way it was like, this was just another tribute to Kings fans who have made things happen for many years,” Rust said. “People doubt us and we come through. That’s what we do.”