Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Star Struck

So. There's an NBA player walking our hallways and hanging out in our gym this week. I have to admit I'm a little star struck, and not a little impressed. He's a friend of our new VP and 7/8th grade teacher and, as a favor to him, has come to do a basketball camp for us this week. It's our first-ever camp, and so far so good.

I keep getting distracted from my work watching the kids (including my nephew and three girls) and this guy working together. He's very good with them, and they are so focused on him and what he has to say. As a teacher, I'm envious! If a kid doesn't do what he says immediately, they have to do 10 push-ups. If they whine or complain or question, it's 10 push-ups. Rest assured, by the end of the first day, he had totally compliant, listening kids.

No longer an active player, this is what he does for a living. He runs day camps in Orlando all summer long, and runs afternoon camps during the school year. He also sponsors a men's league. At our camp, we start and end each day with prayer and pray before lunch as well. He gets the kids in a circle at center court and they touch fists/knuckles (that doesn't sound good, but it's actually very meaningful) while they pray.

The first day he told the kids his story, about how he was drafted by the Houston Rockets just after they'd lost the championship to the Boston Celtics and knew he wouldn't get immediately playing time, so requested to finish college first. They liked him enough to let him do that, which impressed me. He played for a number of NBA and European teams before retiring. Now he's making a difference in the lives of the hundreds of kids he coaches each year. "That's what it's all about," he told me this afternoon. "Making a difference."

Yup. I'm star-struck!


Patty said...

what fun !

Heidi said...

Very cool!

La Tea Dah said...

What an awesome way to start out the school year! It sets the tone for a great year!

My husband has a client who played basketball for the Boston Celtics. That's 'impressive', but what impresses me most is that his wife is a published author of several totally awesome quilting books! LOL! She's also a fabric designer.

You can tell where my heart is. . .