Through thick and thin, the Sacramento Kings have been known for having a passionate and faithful fanbase. One member of the organization’s extended family, Barbara Rust, was rewarded for that loyalty by being inducted into the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame.
The Kings honored Rust, otherwise known as “Sign Lady,” following her induction.
“After a 10 day voting period, Rust, along with University of Arkansas Razorback fan Canaan Sandy and Georgia Bulldog supporter Pierce Wallace, each received more than 85,000 votes on the Fan Hall of Fame website,” according to an NBA.com press release.
Rust was the lone representative of NBA fans and professional sports fans in general. Along with the other two inductees, Rust will have her name “engraved above vintage stadium chairs located on ESPN’s main campus in Bristol, Connecticut,” per the release.
Sign Lady gave the following induction speech, per the Sacramento Kings official YouTube account:
“Barbara truly represents the spirit of the Sacramento Kings in so many ways,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said, per the press release. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I congratulate her on this special honor.”
In order to recognize Rust in front of her fellow fans, the Kings also honored her during a regular-season matchup against the Miami Heat earlier this season.
Not only does Rust represent and embody the passion of her fellow Kings fans, she also signifies what's great about the NBA community.
Regardless of win-loss records, or even the threat of seeing your favorite team moved to a different state, true fans cling to hope that one day they’ll get to celebrate like the Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and others.
I think I speak for all of us by saying: Congratulations, Sign Lady. Keep on cheering.
A photo gallery of Sign Lady’s road to the Fan Hall of Fame induction can be viewed here.