Storee Elle Walton is an 8-year-old Black girl photographing NBA Grizzlies games
At age 6, Walton was already taking pictures from the sidelines of the Southern Heritage Classic football game in her hometown of Memphis.
NBA fans in Memphis knew her first, this little girl photographing Grizzlies games from the baseline at the FedEx Forum.
Storee Elle Walton, who’s just 8 years old, is making national news as one of the youngest NBA photographers in history. The third-grader captured shots at a March 26 game of her home team versus the Milwaukee Bucks. She was a photographer who players came up to and asked for their picture to be taken, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“Can I see them?” De’Anthony Melton asked Walton, posing before her for an array of shots.
The girl is also a favorite of other journalists as she works with her grandfather, Thurman Hobson — who she calls “Gran-Man” — as her chaperone.
It was Hobson who introduced Walton to the camera. According to the local report, the girl first picked up a camera when she was just a year old. By four, she was being paid for her photos. At age 6, she was taking pictures from the sidelines of the 30th annual Southern Heritage Classic football game.
“She’s taken on what my dad loves so much,” her proud mother, Tanyel Hobson-Walton, told The Commercial Appeal. “It started out as a hobby for her, but now she’s getting a lot of jobs because of her professionalism. She’s a kid first, but when she comes, she comes as a professional.”
According to the report, Walton photographed at least 10 weddings last year. She has been taking pictures of and with celebrities before the pandemic — according to her Instagram — since she was a mere first-grader.
She photographed her first NBA game last month through a marketing event and has since been granted pregame access. “When I was at the game, the players made me feel like I was famous,” Storee Elle said. “It makes me proud to be a little girl with a camera. It’s unbelievable that I can do all this and see these new people.”
Walton says her favorite NBA player is Ja Morant — who she was able to photograph last month yet not meet personally. That may change as the youngster continues to become a rising star in her hometown, capturing moments mainly on the weekends to not interfere with her schoolwork.
“If she commits to a job, she carries it out,” her mom told The Commercial Appeal, “and that for me, I can say that I’m most proud about.”
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