ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) – 6th grader Adi Topolosky plays basketball at the Hebrew Academy.
“My favorite player is Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics are my favorite team,” Topolosky said.
In January, 11-year-old Adi went to Foot Locker and asked a salesman if they sold Delle Donne’s shoes. He said, he didn’t know who she was.
“He said I would rather watch paint dry on a wall than watch any women play sports,” Adi said. “I just could not believe that he said that. I don’t know what he was thinking to say that to me, but I was definitely really hurt.”
Even though her family asked for one, Foot Locker did not give her an apology. In August, Adi wrote an article about her experience. In the article, Adi explained her opinion that “athletic stores that have attire from professional teams, should ensure that they have attire representing both men’s and women’s teams.”
“I never thought that I would make a difference at just 11-years-old and I was just really happy that I put my word out there,” Adi said.
Delle Donne saw Adi’s article and surprised her with a zoom.
“I just felt so supported and so thankful that my biggest role model saw,” Adi said.
Delle Donne praised Adi’s article and actions and with her teammates surprised her with shoes. Since then, Adi has met with Dick’s Sporting Goods Executives and the former president of the WNBA. She even met with Foot Locker, who has since apologized.
“So proud of her for using a situation that was really negative and taking that to have a positive impact and really inspire others,” Adi’s mother Dahlia Topolosky told WDVM.
Adi says she plans to continue her activism and encourages others to follow in her footsteps.
“They should stand up for what they believe in because no matter how young or how old you are you can always make a difference,” Adi said.
Adi will have her bat mitzvah in March and is planning some important community service projects down the road. She looks forward to finding other ways to advocate for women in sports.