Mike Lupica, longtime writer of sports commentary for The New York Daily News and many other news and sports outlets, is also a writer of sports-themed young adult novels. The bestselling series Game Changers is a collection of three novels, Game Changers, Play Makers, and Heavy Hitters that features protagonist Ben McBain, a three-sport athlete, and his middle school friends Sam, Coop, and Lily.
Though he would be hard-pressed to admit it to his close friends and teammates Sam and Coop, Ben considers Lily Wyatt to be his closest friend. The four friends call themselves the "Core Four," but Lily is special to Ben. He admires the way she is plugged into what is new in entertainment or technology and willing to share it with them. Ben believes that Lily understands him in ways that his male friends, and even his parents, do not. He also admires that Lily does not show off her intelligence and leaves room for others in the classroom and in their conversations. Ben finds it amusing that in watching the interactions between Sam and Lily, he observes that Sam is not intimidated by her in the same way that others are. Even Ben's mother, Beth McBain, recognizes the intelligence of Lily and encourages her son to keep up their friendship.
Lily is a character that complements the boys with whom she associates, and her presence adds a social dynamic that transcends the sports-forward theme of the books.