LOS ANGELES — Yadira Esparza was treated to her first movie experience since the start of the pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • "Space Jam: A New Legacy" opens today in theaters and streaming on HBOMax

  • Nneka Ogwumike of the LA Sparks appears in the movie, which stars LeBron James
  • Ogwumike and the Sparks rented a theater for a special early screening for students in the Brotherhood Crusade program

“I’m very excited. I haven’t been to a movie in a long time,” she said. 

She got to hang out with Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny, who just happen to be LeBron James’ co-stars in “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”

Yadira saw the movie a week in advance, making her the envy of her neighborhood friends.

“They’re just very jealous of me being able to see it before them,” she explained. 

Yadira a is an undocumented immigrant in a large family, living in a one-bedroom Inglewood apartment. She went to see “Space Jam” with Brotherhood Crusade, an organization that serves students in underserved areas.  

“Brotherhood Crusade has opened the doors, especially coming from a low-income community,” said Yadira. “We’ve never had that support. So, it’s nice to have that support and guidance.” 

On this day, she also received the support of LA Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike. The former WNBA MVP plays a member of the goon squad in the new movie. She, along with the Sparks, helped bring the young people here a sneak peek of the highly anticipated film.

“I think more than ever it’s been difficult for children to kind of find their place today, being at home and not interacting with their peers as they normally do,” Ogwumike said. “So, for the Sparks to be able to put together an event that kind of brings that life back into their eyes is special.”

Yadira very much appreciated being able to have the normal experience of going to the movies again. 

“I’m truly grateful and honored that I was chosen to be one of the few students for this opportunity,” she said.