By David Knopf, News Editor
The two Richmond youth basketball teams that played at the Show Me State Games in Columbia March 24-25, pink was the color of record.
Pink Heat I, a team of 4th and 5th grade boys, and Pink Heat II, a girls’ team of players the same age, wore bright pink t-shirts, pink shoe laces and, for the girls, nails painted pink. Steven Nguyen and his staff at Happy Nail, 201 N. Franklin St., did the nail work on March 22.
Nguyen even painted the uniform numbers of a couple boys on their thumb nails – in fluorescent pink, of course.
No one seemed to care about the color choice or the fact that the boys’ team was coached by a woman, Kim Leakey, or the girls by Tim Leach, a man.
“We are both Pink Heat,” Kim said. “We’re good. We’ve got it covered.”
The players crowded into the small nail salon, waiting their turns for nail painting by Nguyen or his employee, Kim Tran.
When they were done, the players, their coaches and surprised parents learned that Nguyen had decided not to charge them for the work. The owner even came outside to join the players for a group photo along the rail in front of his shop.
The two Show Me State Games teams were hand-picked from several teams that played in the 4th and 5th grade divisions of Richmond Parks and Recreation’s winter league.
The teams included:
Richmond Pink Heat I Boys: Kim Leakey coach: Shane Leakey, Dionte Marquez-Douglas, Nathan McGill, Kain Pierson, Calvin Swafford, Cooper Turley, Colby Williams, Alex Windsor.
Richmond Pink Heat II Girl: Tim Leach coach: Madalynn Bennett, Kaylee Duncan, Harlee Ford, Alexis Leach, Baylee Leathers, Gracie Marshall, Zae Taea Miles, Lexi Pierson, Abby Vandiver.