Cierra Dillard’s new biggest fan, Trinidad Jame$
Prominent Atlanta rapper notices star senior’s performance
There’s new competition to be Cierra Dillard’s biggest fan. The star women’s basketball player’s mom, head coach Felisha Legette-Jack and rapper Trinidad Jame$ are now all competing.
Jame$, notable for his 2012 hit “All Gold Everything,” tweeted his support for Dillard after her performance against UConn in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
Dillard led the Bulls in the tournament after they received an automatic bid for winning the Mid-American Conference tournament. Dillard, the MVP of the tournament, has been one of the top scorers in the nation and is expected to be the first player from Buffalo to be drafted into the WNBA.
Dillard suffered an injury during her final collegiate game but continued to play. Dillard, while limping up and down the court, led Buffalo on a comeback attempt that fell just short against one of the top teams in the nation, UConn.
Jame$ saw Dillard’s “mamba” mentality and shared his thought to his 361,000 followers.
“Shoutout Cierra Dillard from @buffalo University,” Jame$ wrote on Twitter. “She was busting ass till injury. UConn had no answer.”
Even with the celebrity endorsement, the Bulls lost 84-72 and their season came to an end in Storrs, Connecticut. With another five minutes, Legette-Jack speculated that Buffalo could have pulled off the upset.
Dillard finished the game with 29 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals despite her injury. She only missed two minutes of playing time. Dillard’s scoring was the most points UConn has allowed to an opposing player all season.
“Ms. Dillard has that Mamba blood,” Jame$ wrote over Twitter direct messages. “No fear. Not phased by pain because winning and the moment is the only thing she is focused on. It was a pleasure to see her attack the Huskies that way. Coach Geno [Auriemma] and the Huskies are an iron fortress of incredible women. I know a lot of other women are intimidated by them and their nostalgia. Cierra played as if she didn’t care. That deserves a trophy in its own right.”
The UConn women’s basketball team has made the NCAA tournament every year since 1989 and has made the final four every season since 2008. UConn won four-straight championships from 2013-16.
Jame$ said he is not a UConn fan but admitted that it was the “only good game” on after the Duke men’s basketball team beat Baylor in the NCAA tournament. Jame$ said that was when he found “a gem” of a player, Dillard.
Dillard is just over a week away from the WNBA draft on April 10.
Still, Dillard doesn’t try to be a scorer on the court but was the fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, doing so in just 53 games. Dillard also set the single season scoring record of 856, the most for men’s and women’s basketball. Dillard is fifth place on the all-time scoring list with 1,422 points.
Jame$ may not be headed for the WNBA, but the Atlanta native had advice for the future star.
“Ms. Dillard gotta keep her mentality and also hit the gym in the off season with the same energy,” Jame$ wrote. “Keep that Same Energy. Be the winner she was born to be.”
Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NateMendelson