Friend Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends meeting celebrities.
Last year, I came across Mikaela Dokes, a young basketball star. I was so impressed with what I saw of Mikaela online, I reached out to her father Walter about doing an interview with them. Walter agreed and the interview can now be found at On the Beat With Mikaela Dokes and Walter Dokes.
Mikaela has more basketball skills at six than I had ever. While I am sure she has natural ability, I have also seen lot of videos of her practicing. Mikaela shows dedication and maturity well beyond her young age.
Recently, Walter treated Mikaela to a Notre Dame women's basketball game. Mikaela is a huge Notre Dame fan and hopes to play for the Fighting Irish one day. (I predict that will happen.) Mikaela also got to meet several Notre Dame players, including Sonia Citron. Freshman guard Citron also played for USA Basketball U19 team and looks to have a future on the international stage, as well as the pro leagues.
Mikaela was thrilled to meet Citron and from the looks of things, Citron was happy to meet the youngster. Citron probably saw a lot of herself in Mikaela.
Mikaela has many years before she will be college eligible, but I believe she will be lighting up the courts at Notre Dame in the future. She's got a great start, works very hard at her game and is getting better every day.
I'll be following Mikaeal's progress and reporting back here on occasion. I encourage everyone to follow Mikaela on social media.
Mikaela Dokes and Sonia Citron in South Bend, IN-November 2021.