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Bolden honored by Haddish, L.A. city council at Black History Month event

Kings scout gets chance to see Stanley Cup, thanks to actress, hockey fan

by Dan Greenspan / Independent Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Blake Bolden has made history by becoming the first United States-born black player in the Canadian Women's Hockey League and the first black player in the National Women's Hockey League.

But on Tuesday, she got a chance to touch history -- with an assist from comedian, actress and hockey fan Tiffany Haddish.

Bolden, a scout for the Los Angeles Kings, was honored by the Los Angeles City Council during a Black History Month event, and for the first time got a close-up look at the Stanley Cup.

"I've never seen the Stanley Cup before," Bolden said at Los Angeles City Hall. "I've seen the Isobel Cup (NWHL), I've seen the Clarkson Cup (CWHL), I've seen national champion cups and I've seen World Cups for Team USA. But I've never been this close and been able to touch the Stanley Cup."

Haddish brought Bolden's story to the attention of councilman Herb Wesson Jr. At the behest of Haddish, who Wesson joked had become an unofficial member of the City Council for her frequent presence in February during Black History Month events, Bolden received a certificate of recognition honoring her contributions to hockey.

"The coolest thing about being the first is knowing that you won't be the last," Wesson said.

Video: Tiffany Haddish brings Stanley Cup to LA City Hall

Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson admitted he expected to see someone other than Bolden joining Haddish when he was told a hockey player would be attending the ceremony, giving the Emmy Award winner a chance to show her quick wit.

"You thought I was bringing a man, didn't you?" Haddish said. "Not for today. Women's History Month is just a few days away."

"That's how much of a barrier you're breaking," Harris-Dawson then said to Bolden.

Haddish's love of hockey started in 2004 when she attended Kings games while working with a youth outreach group. A struggling standup comedian then a year away from securing her first television and movie roles at the time, Haddish was drawn to the excitement the sport generates live.

"The NHL had donated some tickets to us. I started taking the kids to the hockey games, and then it got to the point where I was going to, like, every hockey game and taking like 20, 30 kids at a time because it was so invigorating," she said. "I'm like, 'See kid, you can get your aggression out on the ice and not go to jail."

Bolden showed her own sense of humor when asked whether she was superstitious about touching the Stanley Cup. "I don't think I'll be playing in the NHL anytime soon," she said, "so I think I'll be OK."

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