8425 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509

(814) 864-3001

Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

This 9-year-old girl helped lead the Bulls to a screaming comeback win. Literally

DeMar DeRozan embraces his daughter Diar before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Mark Blinch
NBAE via Getty Images
DeMar DeRozan embraces his daughter Diar before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Welcome to the NPR series where we spotlight the people and things making headlines — and the stories behind them.

This 9-year-old epitomizes the idea of working smarter, not harder.

Who is she? A cunning kid with some resilient vocal cords.

  • Diar DeRozan is the daughter of Chicago Bulls player DeMar DeRozan, and while she isn't officially on the team, the tinier DeRozan had an outsized impact on her dad's team reaching a stunning 109-105 comeback victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. 
  • DeMar spent the first nine years of his career as a Raptor, and as a result, Diar had requested to skip school and come along for the mems. 
  • Turns out, she had a contribution to make. 
  • What's the big deal? How did Diar lead the Bulls to victory? Simple. Strategic screams.

  • The Bulls were trailing by as much as 19 points at one point in the NBA Play-in tournament game.
  • As it went into free throws, Diar utilized her eagle-like projection abilities to shriek when the Raptors were about to shoot. 
  • And it seems like she was definitely on to something. The Raptors missed 18 out of 36 free throws as the home team, and allowed for the Bulls to make their comeback victory. 
  • According to ESPN, it was the Raptors' worst free throw performance of the season, and the most misses in an elimination game since 1969. 
  • What are people saying?

    DeMar on his daughter's winning strategy:

    I kept hearing something during the game and it was on a free throw, somebody missed and I was like, "Damn, that's my daughter screaming?" I was just making sure she was all right, though. 

    My daughter called me the other day when she was getting out of school and she just said, 'Dad, can I come to the Toronto game?' 

    I remember her going to all the Toronto games when she was a kid and I almost said no because she's in school back home. But she kept asking. She was just adamant about coming to support and I said, "All right, you can miss one day of school and come to a game." I'm glad I did. I owe her some money for sure. 

    And this was Diar's game-winning contribution:


    Want more sports? Listen to Consider This on how women's college basketball is having a moment.

    So, what now?

  • The Bulls will advance to play The Miami Heat on Friday. That's all the sports analysis you're ever going to get from me. 
  • BUT they won't have their MVP with them. DeRozan says she's "got to go back to school." 
  • Learn more:

  • Michael Jordan's 'Last Dance' sneakers sell for a record-breaking $2.2 million
  • Global warming could be juicing baseball home runs, study finds
  • NBA coach Gregg Popovich criticizes lawmakers over gun control
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Corrected: April 13, 2023 at 12:00 AM EDT
    A previous version of this story incorrectly presented which team had which score.
    Manuela López Restrepo
    Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.