How 9-Year-Old Riley Morrison Created Real Change at Under Armour

Every day in June, FN is showcasing female leaders across the industry for our Women in Power series.

After hanging out with NBA star Stephen Curry in March at the player’s SC30 pop-up shop in Oakland, Calif., 9-year-old California native Riley Morrison has become a local celebrity.

“People at my school asked for autographs, and some people didn’t believe that it really happened,” Morrison told FN. “Random people in Napa have recognized me, said hello and asked for photos.”

The young athlete — who plays softball, soccer and basketball in local leagues — got to see the warmer side of the three-time champion firsthand.

“I was nervous at first waiting for him by myself, but he made me laugh, and we had a lot of fun telling jokes,” Morrison said. “I told him, ‘Have you heard about the Spanish magician? He said, on the count of three, I will disappear — uno, dos and disappeared without a tres.’”

But it was a more serious topic that afforded Morrison the opportunity to meet Curry.

In November, she sent a letter to the Golden State Warriors guard — which was shared on social media by her father, Chris, an admitted sneakerhead — saying it was unfair that his Under Armour Curry 5 sneakers weren’t available in sizing for girls.

Because of her letter, Morrison was asked to help design the “United We Win” colorway of the Curry 6, which hit stores in March. But her impact will be felt beyond the release of one shoe.“As Riley put it, ‘Girls want to rock Currys too,’ so we’re ensuring that boys and girls have access to styles they want,” Under Armour’s SVP of global brand, Attica Jacques, told FN. “At a macro level, Riley was a wake-up call to ensure that we are addressing the needs of young women and girls at every turn.”

Jacques continued, “Riley Morrison alerted us to a problem we had on our own e-commerce site. We’re ensuring that a broader variety of youth styles are available within both the boys’ and girls’ sections, letting our youngest consumers decide what they want before drawing those conclusions ourselves.”

Specifically concerning the Curry franchise, sneakers now will be offered in sizing for women — including the Curry 7, which will hit stores before year’s end.

“A 9-year-old saying, ‘This isn’t fair, it isn’t right,’ proves that it doesn’t matter your age or your gender, if you say something in a nice way and if you’re positive, change can happen very quickly,” Morrison’s mom, Megan Lopez, said.

Although she has accomplished one major feat at a young age, her female empowerment mission is far from complete. Morrison, who one day wants to play in the WNBA, already has her next goal lined up: getting more girls to participate in sports.

“[Sports] is something I love. I love to be with my teammates and to create a bond with them on the field or on the court or whether it’s out somewhere else,” Morrison said.

Below, watch our behind-the-scenes video with NBA star Stephen Curry on the set of his cover shoot.

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