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Wizards star John Wall inducted into Ride of Fame

By Connor Morgan and Sam Fiske, Medill News Service
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Wizards star John Wall inducted into Ride of Fame
John Wall, the two-time NBA All-Star point guard for the Washington Wizards, was honored with a seat on the Ride of Fame tour bus in Washington, D.C. Oct 26, 2015. Photo by Connor Morgan/MNS/UPI

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall flashed his trademark smile to dozens of fans outside the Verizon Center during the Ride of Fame ceremony Monday celebrating his contributions to the nation's capital.

The two-time NBA All-Star was honored with a personalized seat emblazoned with his image on the top level of the double-decker Ride of Fame tour bus. The first professional basketball player to represent Washington on the mobile monument, Wall said he was humbled.

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"It's a great honor," said Wall, a Raleigh, North Carolina native. "I get so much love from this city. It feels like I'm from here."

Ride of Fame series was created in 2010 for the 100th anniversary of the Gray Line tour service. The bus commemorates public figures making an impact in their respective communities.

Wall's selection was based on an algorithm that included his personal achievements, social media presence and fans' votes. Ride of Fame creator David W. Chien said Wall's on-court accomplishments are noteworthy, but it was his charitable work that made Wall an obvious choice.

"What he's doing for the John Wall Family Foundation and everything that he's doing for the community as well, it really touched us," Chien said. "For us to pay him this tribute and to have this bus unveiled, it's going to be permanently stayed as a dedication to everything he's done and definitely what he's choosing to show the kids."

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The John Wall Family Foundation recently donated $400,000 to support homeless youth and raised funds and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Wall's connection with kids was on display as several young boys flooded the sixth year guard with questions during the bus's first tour around the block. He answered the questions, and had them participate in a screaming competition for an autographed mini-basketball.

Wall became the third honoree from Washington. Hall of fame quarterback Joe Theismann and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin have also been celebrated. Other inductees include Reggie Jackson, Joe Namath, and Mariano Rivera.

The Washington Wizards begin the regular season on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic in Florida.

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