Young national anthem singer answers racist taunts (video)

Sebastien De La Cruz hit his notes perfectly. (David J. Phillip / AP) Sebastien De La Cruz hit his notes perfectly. (David J. Phillip / AP)

The Miami Heat had an adorable little girl singing the national anthem before Game 2 and, when the NBA finals moved to San Antonio on Tuesday, the Spurs matched her with a young singer of their own.

Sebastien De La Cruz, an 11-year-old singer called “El Charro de Oro,” stepped up when Darius Rucker’s flight was delayed and knocked it out of the park, just as Julia Dale did in Miami.

But De La Cruz, the son of a Navy veteran who had made it to the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent” in the seventh season, faced a racist backlash on Twitter. It’s an awful thing for a kid to have to deal with, but De La Cruz responded perfectly.

“I knew that one day when I sing that people were going to judge me,” he said in an interview with San Antonio’s Fox affiliate. “That’s why over the time I’ve grown, I’ve learned that you don’t really care what people say about you, it’s what you think about yourself.”

De La Cruz is expected to sing the national anthem again tonight in San Antonio.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · June 13, 2013

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