Barbara Rust, by nature, would rather not have been doing interviews.
“No, this is not my strong point. I’m not a public speaker, which is why we make signs,” Rust said.
After 25 years of waving those signs from the same seats, over 300 signs total, as her beloved Kings do their thing on the court, Rust became known as the Sign Lady.
But now, that nickname is not all she’s earned.
“I didn’t know I was nominated [for ESPN’s Fan Hall of Fame] until a couple days into the whole deal,” Rust laughs.
Forget about nominated, Rust has now been selected for the Fan Hall of Fame. She won-out over 10 other finalists, some of them fans of big market teams.
“We’re the small-market, big heart people. We’re the ones that saved the Kings. We’re the ones that set a noise record. Basically, when Sacramento Kings fans decide they’re going to do something, they do it,” Rust said.
And now this Kings fan has something she needs to do for herself. The same week she made it into the Fan Hall of Fame, she learned she would be starting chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Rust says it might mean her streak of consecutive games as the Sign Lady won’t go on forever. But still this is a lady who never quit, even when it looked like her beloved team wasn’t going to stick around.
“I think that’s going to go down as one of the best love stories of all time. Because that’s what drove this fan base. We would not give up because of all the passion we have for this team,” Rust says.